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Regions > Eurasia > Przewalski’s horse

Przewalski’s horse

Location at the Zoo: Eurasia



Region:

Central Asia

Class:

Mammalia

Order:

Perissodactyla

Family:

Equidae

Genus:

Equus

Scientific Name:

Equus przewalskii

Description

: The head is large with a long face and muzzle. The neck is short and stumpy. The eyes are located far from the nostrils near the ears.

Length of body: 220 - 260 cm
Length of tail 80 - 110 cm
Height at shoulder: 130 - 135 cm
Weight: 200 - 300 kg

Distribution

: Extinct in the wild, used to be found in Mongolia.

Habitat

: Desert and semi-desert areas of Central Asia.

Food

: Herbivore. Dry, tough grasses, desert shrubs and rushes, the latter available at oasis.

Reproduction and Development

: Breeding season is May and June. Young are born in April and May after a gestation period of 328 - 343 days. There is usually a single birth, seldom twins. Foals suckle for 6-7 months.

Adaptations

: These horses can survive on desert scrub which a domestic horse would reject. They feed from dusk to dawn when the grasses contain some moisture. Herd size usually 3 - 20 led by a stallion, who defends his mares against any danger by driving them in front and defending them from the rear. Stallions will fight for leadership of the herd. These battles sometimes last many hours until the weaker horse succumbs to exhaustion.

Threats to Survival

: Man. Driven from ancestral grazing areas by domestic herds, taken by nomads to breed with domestic horses. Naturally timid, it could not compete for natural water with the domestic herds.

Status

: CITES 1. No trade allowed except for conservation or scientific purposes

Zoo Diet

: Hay and monogastric cubes.


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