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PRZEWALSKI'S WILD HORSE

PRZEWALSKI WILD HORSEEquus ferus przewalskii

Conservation Status: Endangered

They were considered extinct in the wild, but captive breeding and subsequent release back into the wild has changed the conservation status. The Przewalski Wild Horse is threatened by habitat degradation, human hunting or conflict, and competition with livestock. There is also a threat of hybridization with domestic horses.

statusbar_endangered copy

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Perissodactyla

FAMILY

Equidae

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General Characteristics

Color: 

They have a stocky body with shorter legs than other domestic horses. They also have a shorter neck and a powerful jaw. Their backs and sides are dun to greyish-brown and they have a dark stripe down their backs. The Przewalski's wild horse has a mane that stands erect and has no forelock. Their manes, tails, and bottom of their legs are darker in color. 

Size:

Total length is about 300 cm. 

Weight:

350 kg. 

Average Lifespan: 

25 years

Captive Lifespan:

Maximum of 36 years

Distribution:

They used to be found throughout Asia, but became restricted to Mongolia before eventually becoming extinct in the wild.

Habitat:

Steppe vegetation, semi-desert, and shrub land. 

Reproduction:

Mating: 

Females can mate again within a week after giving birth, which occurs in May or June.

Gestation/Incubation:

11-12 months

Litter/Clutch Size:

1 foal

Mature: 

The foal is weaned by 8-13 months.

Diet:

As grazers, they eat grasses and some other plants. In captivity, they are fed grains and hay. 

Behavior:

The Przewalski's wild horse lives in family groups that are headed by a dominant stallion. Young males, once kicked out of the herd, will form bachelor groups that then go to find a group of females. This species is not territorial.

Teaching Facts:

1. The Przewalski's wild horse is the last true wild horse and is the only surviving ancestor of the domestic horse.

2. The last wild Przewalski's wild horse was found in Mongolia in the 1960s.

3. Foals are able to stand within one hour after birth.

4. There was an extensively monitored breeding system to prevent inbreeding when there was only 300 horses left in zoos.