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Rare Przewalski's horse foal born at an England zoo
Zoo welcomes foal from this endangered species that was extinct in the wild from 1969 to 2008
A rare male Przewalski’s horse foal was born at the Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, England on May 28, 2022. According to an organizational release,1 from 1969 to 2008, these horses were extinct in the wild so this marks a noteworthy birth for this endangered species.
Nogger and Speranzer are the parent’s of this foal, Basil, named after the first male Przewalski’s horse who ever resided at Marwell Zoo in the 1970s. This was also around the time the zoo opened in 1972. Thus, the new youngster’s name is also is in tandem with the celebration of this year's 50th anniversary of Marwell Zoo.1
The foal is remaining close to its mother and females of the herd are being protective of him. He will play in an important role as part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Programme.
Przewalski’s foals weigh approximately 66 lbs or less at birth. Within the first day of birth, they can stand, walk, trot, nibble forage, and neigh. After the first week, they are able to begin grazing, engaging in solitary play and defensive kicking.2
During the mid 1700's, wild Przewalski’s horses were found from the Russian Steppes east to Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and northern China.1 Listed as Endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, fortunately, these horse populations have been increasing with the help of zoo breeding programs.
- Przewalski’s parents parade their progeny! News release. Marwell Zoo. June 28, 2022. Accessed June 29, 2022. https://www.marwell.org.uk/zoo-news/przewalskis-parents-parade-progeny
- Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) fact sheet: reproduction & development. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Accessed June 29, 2022. https://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/przewalskishorse/reproduction
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