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Przewalski’s Horse

Equus ferus ssp. Przewalskii

  1. Not Evaluated
  2. Data Deficient
  3. Least Concern
  4. Near Threatened
  5. Vulnerable
  6. Endangered
  7. Critically Endangered
  8. Extinct in the Wild
  9. Extinct

About Us

The Przewalski’s horse is a rare and endangered subspecies of the wild horse. It was once extinct in the wild but thankfully due to successful captive breeding programmes and reintroduction programmes Przewalski horses can once again be found roaming within national parks throughout Mongolia. Reintroduction efforts are also active in China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Our group of Przewalski horses can be found grazing in a large paddock near the main entrance of the safari drive through.

Distribution
Mongolia. Reintroductions are active in China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Habitat
Steppe and semi desert
Height
120- 150cm
Weight
250-300kg
Lifespan
25 years
Threats
Hunting by humans and the domestication of the species.

Social Behaviour

Przewalski horses live in two types of social groups: A harem group, which contains a stallion and no more than 10 adult females and their offspring and bachelor groups, which contain only males.

Their behaviour patterns are very similar to that of feral horses. The stallions are very protective of their family groups and will defend all members of their family. However the mare will often display signs of leadership within the group. Stallions and mares stay with their preferred partners for many years.

They maintain visual contact within their groups at all times and also communicate through vocalisations and scent marking.

 

Breeding Behaviour

Mares are sexually mature at 4 years old; however conception has been recorded as young as 2 years. The gestation period is 11 months and one foal is produced. The foal will stay close to its mother, and becomes independent at 5 months old.

Diet

Przewalski horses are herbivores and graze predominately on grasses; however they will also nibble on shrubs when available. Our Przewalski horses mainly graze on the grass in their paddock; however they are also given access to hay and pasture nuts within the winter months.

Physical Features

Przewalski horses are of a stocky build and have shorter legs compared to the domesticated horse. Their manes stick upright and they have long tails that grow up to 90cm long. Their coats are a light brown, dun colour and they have a long dark strip along their backs. They do not have a forelock (fringe) like the domesticated horse.

They can adapt to extreme cold conditions and grow thick warm coats in winter, complete with long shaggy neck hair and beards. In spring they go through a molt (shed their coats) in preparation for the warmer weather and to prevent them from overheating. During this time they can look quite scruffy!

Threats

 Predators are wolves, with young foals being at highest risk of death by wolf attacks.

Fun Facts

Like many horses our Przewalski’s receive regular foot care from our vet and after hooves have been trimmed the cuttings are often taken to our pack of wolves who love to roll around in them and act as a great source of enrichment.