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Home | Tag Archives: Przewalski’s horse

Tag Archives: Przewalski’s horse

El Paso Zoo gets a Pony for the Holidays

The holidays came early at the El Paso Zoo with the highly-anticipated arrival of Brianna, the Zoo’s first female Przewalski’s horse.

Brianna arrived on Tuesday, December 6, and will soon join Vitalis, the Zoo’s male Przewalski’s horse, to become the Zoo’s first breeding pair of these endangered horses.

“In the 1960s, Przewalski’s horse were extinct in the wild,” explained Zoo Director Steve Marshall. “We are proud to join the important ongoing effort to preserve these magnificent creatures and reintroduce them to their natural habitats.”

Brianna came to the El Paso Zoo from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. Born at the Bronx Zoo, she is eight years old and weighs approximately 775 pounds. The transfer comes as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose Species Survival Plan® (SSP) works to conserve species such as the Przewalski’s horse through breeding and transfer plans.

These plans are designed to empower accredited zoos, including the El Paso Zoo, to protect and breed endangered animals in order to save them from extinction.

“Now that Brianna has arrived at the Zoo, she will go through a 30-40 day quarantine period,” explained Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Misty Garcia. “We just want to make sure she is healthy and has some quiet time to adjust to her new surroundings. So far she is doing very well.”

Muscular and stocky with light brown bodies and bristly black manes, Przewalski’s horses are the only wild, undomesticated horse remaining in the world. Their name, pronounced “shuh-VAL-skee” comes from Nikolai Przewalski, the 19th-century explorer who is credited with their discovery.

Through the collaborative efforts of AZA-accredited zoos and conservation partners, hundreds of Przewalski’s horses have returned to the wild. While there are still threats to the Przewalski’s horse’s survival, including climate change and encroaching private farms, active conservation strategies and breeding initiatives such as these will help ensure a stable, genetically-diverse population that will roam the wild for years to come.

El Paso Zoo to Receive Animal from Smithsonian’s National Zoo

On Wednesday, November 2, the El Paso Zoo will prepare to receive a female Przewalski’s horse from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C.

The female horse will join Vitalis, one of the El Paso Zoo’s two male Przewalski’s horses, and they will become the zoo’s first breeding pair of Przewalski’s horses.

In anticipation of the arrival of the female horse, the El Paso Zoo will transfer Vladimir, the zoo’s other male Przewalski’s horse, to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota,

Przewalski’s horse
Przewalski’s horse

where he will also become part of a breeding pair.

“It is a huge privilege for the El Paso Zoo to have such an important role in saving the Przewalski’s horse,” said El Paso Zoo Director Steve Marshall. “We are incredibly thankful for the support of the community, which has allowed us to continue furthering our mission to protect and conserve endangered species.”

The transfer comes as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose Species Survival Plan® (SSP) works to conserve species such as the Przewalski’s horse through breeding and transfer plans.

These plans are designed to empower accredited zoos, such as the El Paso Zoo, to protect and breed endangered animals in order to save them from extinction.

Przewalski’s horses, also called Asian wild horses, are the only truly wild horses remaining in the world. Muscular and stocky, these horses were declared extinct in the wild in the 1960s due to over-hunting and encroaching human settlements. Through the collaborative efforts of AZA-accredited zoos and conservation partners, hundreds of Przewalski’s horses have now begun returning to the wild.

While there are still threats to the Przewalski’s horse’s survival, including climate change and overgrazing by domestic animals, active conservation strategies and breeding initiatives such as these will help ensure a stable, genetically-diverse population that will roam the wild for years to come.

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