Winnipeg zoo lassos pair of rare wild horses
In this photo taken on Thursday, June 16, 2011, Przewalski's Horse mare "Kordula," right, and stallion "Matyas" nuzzle after being released at the Khomiin Tal reservation in Western Mongolia. (AP / Petr David Josek)
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 8:54AM EDT
They’re stockier than your average horse and a lot tougher to come by.
A Winnipeg zoo is now home to a pair of Przewalski’s horses, an engaged subspecies of wild horses once thought to be extinct.
The male horses, both two-years-old, are the newest addition to the Assiniboine Park Zoo.
Originating in Mongolia, Przewalski’s horses are smaller than most domestic horses, weighing between 440 to 750 pounds. They also have stockier bodies, standing between 1.2 and 1.4 metres high, with upright, zebra-like manes and a dark stripe down their backs.
“Przewalski’s horses are quite rare, which makes this an even greater addition for our visitors since most have never seen them before,” Tim Sinclair-Smith, the zoo’s director of operations, said in a statement.
The breed is the last surviving subspecies of wild horse.
There are currently nearly 1,500 Przewalski’s horses living in zoos and breeding facilities and another 400 can be found in the wild.
The horses are part of the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Species Survival Program.
Zoo officials said they hopes to expand the number of Przewalski’s horses by acquiring female horses in order to participate in a breeding program.