Endangered Przewalski's Foal Born at Denver Zoo

Foal CU 1

Denver Zoo celebrated the birth of an Endangered Przewalski's (sheh-VAL-skee’s) Horse foal, on the morning of May 31. The unnamed foal, whose gender is still not known, is not only the first birth for mother, Yisun, and father, Bataar, but also the first birth of its species at Denver Zoo since 1991. The foal is quietly exploring its yard under the watchful eye of its mother, but guests can see them both from the zoo’s main pathway.

The Przewalski’s Horse is considered the only remaining, truly wild horse in the world, and may be the closest living wild relative of the domesticated horse. There are a number of other wild equine species, including three species of zebra, and various subspecies of the African wild ass, onager and kiang.

Captive breeding programs, supported by zoos, helped keep this species from disappearing completely from the globe. Recent estimates indicate that there are now more than 300 in the wild and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies them as Endangered. Denver Zoo has a small herd, which helps support these efforts. This new foal is an exciting addition to the world population!

Foal side

Foal and mom 2

Przewalski’s Horses, also called Mongolian Wild Horses or Asiatic Wild Horses, once roamed throughout Europe and Asia. Today they are only found on reserves in Mongolia and China and in zoos around the world. The species was actually extinct in the wild for almost 30 years, before reintroduction projects began in the early 1990’s. The horses faced a number of threats that may have led to their extinction, including hunting, military activities and competition with livestock for resources.   

Learn more about Denver Zoo’s conservation programs at:

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Przewalski's Horse Colt Continues Zoo Praha's Success With Species


Early on the morning of March 27, a Przewalski’s Horse was born at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Praha, the 219th member of this endangered species to be born at the zoo.   Przewalski’s Horses were once extinct in the wild and have since been reintroduced to their native central Asian habitat thanks to efforts of zoos and reserves around the world.

The colt, a male, was born to mother Jessica and father Len.  Despite chilly temperatures, the colt is nursing successfully and finding his way around the zoo’s enclosure.




Photo Credits:  Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha

Przewalski’s Horses, a subspecies of wild Horse, are thought to be the only remaining true wild Horses in the world.  After the last wild herds in Mongolia were wiped out in the 1960s, Zoo Praha and other European zoos held the only members of this species.  At one point, only 12 Przewalski's Horses were left in the entire world. 

Breeding programs in zoos and reserves successfully bred the few remaining horses, with individuals being exchanged among facilities to maintain as much genetic diversity as possible.  In 1992, 16 Przewalski’s Horses were released in the wild in Mongolia.  Additional releases in the decades since have increased the wild population, but they are still classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Taronga Zoo Sees Double with Birth of Two Critically Endangered Foals

Foal solo

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia have double the reason to celebrate with two Przewalski’s Horse foals born just three days apart, the first on January 29, and the second on February 1! Both foals are fillies, and will grow up to take part one day in the important breeding program for this endangered species.

Mothers Genghis and Suren are showing all the right maternal behaviors in caring for their offspring. Keepers have witnessed the foals feeding well from the time they were able to stand. Keeper Jackie Stuart observed, “Both foals are quite outgoing and enjoy a little gallop around the paddock and after a drink, have a nap in the sun at their mothers’ feet.” 

Foal sit

Foal dance

Photo Credits: Jackie Stuart/Taronga Western Plains Zoo

“This is Genghis’s second foal, so she is taking it all in her stride and is less concerned and protective of her offspring," Jackie continued, "while Suren, a first-time mum, is being kept on her toes with her very curious foal.” 

Keepers have named one of the foals ‘Zaria’, meaning ‘sunrise’ in Russian, as foals are often born in the early morning. While the Zoo has named one of the foals, they are welcoming suggestions on a name for the second foal from members of the public via their Facebook page. The foal to be named is a curious but outgoing female -- and suggestions should also reflect the origin of the species being Mongolian or Russian. 

See more pictures of these foals after the fold!

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After 6 Years of Trying, Israel's Ramat Gan Zoological Center Succeeds!


Israel's Ramat Gan Zoological Center has succeeded with its first birth of an extremely rare Somali Wild Ass Foal on the 26th of April, Isreal's 64th Independence Day. The newly arrived foal was appropriately named Israela. Anticipating a 12-month gestation period, keepers kept the foal's father and mother separate until last Spring so that their baby would be born in the most favorable weather conditions. During mother Yelenyo's pregnancy, she was separated from father Abeba so that she would have a peaceful and interruption free gestation period.






Photo credit: Tibor Jäger

The Somali Wild Ass is critically endangered with only 350 wild individuals remaining in its native Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. There are only 130 individuals in captivity worldwide.

Critically Endangered Horse Foal Finds its Feet

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 8

Prague Zoo welcomed its 216th Przewalski's Horse foal on August 1. Prague Zoo has the leading international stud book (breed registry) of this critically endangered species and boasts the longest continuous breeding history worldwide. The foal's father is a male from the Ukraine whose grandmother Lena was the last Przewalski's Horse ever caught in the wild. For this reason, the new foal's genes are extremely valuable for maintaining diverse bloodlines in breeding populations. The foal's Mother Hara has proven an exemplary mom, immediately coming to the aide of the foal by cleaning it and overseeing its crucial first steps. Sadly, the Przewalski's horse became extinct in the wild in 1968, but Prague Zoo and others worldwide have had success in efforts to revitalize wild populations.

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 1

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 3

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 5

Przewalski's Horse - Prague 6
Photo credits: Tomáš Adamec

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Meet a Somali Wild Ass Foal

Among the rarest mammals, the Somali Wild Ass is a critically endangered subspecies of African Wild Ass, which is itself critically endangered. This species is believed to be the ancestor of the domestic donkey. While the exact size of the small population left in the wild is unknown, about 200 Somali Wild Asses live in zoos around the world, 35 of which were bred at Switzerland's Zoo Basel! Born November 16th, this beautiful young foal, named Hakaba, explores her enclosure for the first time, cautiously sniffing at first, then exuberantly running!

Somali Wild Ass Foal with Mom

Somali Wild Ass Foal with Mom

Somali Wild Ass Foal with Mom

Somali Wild Ass Foal Run Like the Wind

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Endangered Foals Frolick in the Fields of Calgary Zoo

For the first time since 1994, three Asian Wild Horse foals have been born at the Calgary Zoo’s endangered species breeding facility – the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre (DWCC). The adorable new additions, now frolicking in the meadows at the zoo’s ranch, expand the herd from 8 to 11 horses. The public will have the chance to name the foals. The three foals were born on April 24 (colt*), May 2 (filly‡), and May 20 (filly) – contest details follow. All of them were sired by Varanasi, a stallion born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and introduced to the Calgary herd in 2008. All three mares, Naghai, Molly and Chilka, were born at the Granby Zoo in Quebec.




Photo and Video Credits: Calgary Zoo

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Mongolian Horse Foal Standing Tall

On April 25th, Germany's Allwetter Zoo in Munster welcomed a Mongolian horse foal weighing 35 kg (77 lbs). Small and stocky, Mongolian horses have remained largely unchanged genetically since the time of Ghengis Kahn. They also have the largest genetic diversity among all horse breeds, suggesting that humans have not guided their breeding habits nearly as closely as other horses.

Mongolian horse foal 2

Mongolian horse foal 3

Mongolian horse foal 4

Adorable ZooBorns Video Round-Up

There's so much going on at zoo nurseries these days we can barely keep up! Enjoy this collection of outstanding videos from Smithsonian National Zoo and Bronx Zoo.

In a 24-hour-period between July 9 and 10, a clouded leopard cub, a Przewalski's horse, and a red panda cub were all born at Smithsonian's National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center

Looks like the Smithsonian National Zoo is gonna need a bigger bird house!

Watch a baby lemur grow from a sleepy eyed infant into a bouncing teen (in lemur years) at the Bronx Zoo