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Prague zoo to release further Przewalski horses in Mongolia

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Prague, July 18 (CTK) – The Prague zoo will transfer another four mares of the Przewalski horse, a rare species on the brink of extinction, to Mongolia next year so that they can reunite with the horses that were taken there from Prague and released in the wild in the past years, Miroslav Bobek has told the media.
Four mares were flown to the Gobi B protected nature area earlier this month.
The next four will follow in June 2016, Bobek said.
In the meanwhile, another foal was born in the Przewalski horse herd in the Prague zoo on Sunday, July 12, he added.
In cooperation with the Czech military, the zoo has taken a total of 19 Przewalski horses to Mongolia in five transfers so far. One horse has died in Mongolia, but those surviving have 10 offspring already.
Bobek said the zoo wants to initiate an extension of the Gobi B reserve and possibly also to launch a closer cooperation with China on the Przewalski horse salvation.
The Prague zoo has been the world leader in breeding the rare horse species that was killed out in the wild 40 years ago and is being returned to its former habitats now.
“We do not focus on the transfers only. We also support a long sustainability of the wild horses’ return. We have reconstructed a hospital in the area, constructed haylofts, and we support the activities of the environmentalists and the nature wardens in Gobi B,” Bobek said.
At present, a total of about 500 Przewalski horses live in three localities in Mongolia, including 139 in Gobi B, the destination of the last four Prague transports.
This brought the wild horse population to the level before the winter 2009-2010 when almost two-thirds of the animals died as a result of unusually hard frosts.
The new foal in Prague is the 226th born in the zoo. Its mother is Jessica, from the Prague Przewalski horse family. Its father is Leon, a stallion from Ukraine.

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