Przewalski Horse

Przewalski Horse: The Przewalski horse, also known as the Asian Wild Horse is the only horse to survive in it's original form. In prehistoric times this horse roamed central Asia but by the 19th century they were only found in what is know Mongolia. The Przewalski's Horse is considered the only remaining truly wild "horse" in the world and may be the closest living wild relative of the domesticated horse. The Mongolian name for this horse is "takhi," and early tribes nearly hunted the animal to extinction.

A Russian military surveyor, General Nikolai Michailovitch Przewalski, is credited for the discovery of the wild horse in western Mongolia in 1879. However, the existence of the horse was reported earlier in 1814 by the English naturalist, Colonel Hamilton Smith.

The Przewalski horse stands about 13 hands high and adults can weigh between 550 and 750 pounds. They are brownish in color with a pale underbelly and muzzle, often there is a dorsal stripe. The mane of this horse is very coarse and primitive, growing upright and only to about 9" in length.

These wild horses have never been tamed, even the animals in captivity proved to be very aggressive and unmanagable. In 1977, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse was founded in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. At one time extinct in the wild, due to a worldwide conservation effort, the horse has now been reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia at the Khustain Nuruu National Park, Takhin Tal Nature Reserve and Khomiin Tal. After a reassessment in 2008 they were reclassified from "extinct in the wild" to "critically endangered".

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