Known as Takhi (meaning 'spirit' or 'spiritual') these graceful equids are the only wild horses left in the world.

Scientific Name: Equus ferus
Common name: Takhi, Przewalksi's Horse
IUCN Status: EN - Endangered

Changing coat

The colour of the Takhi's coat varies in different seasons. In the summer, the horses’ coat becomes a light yellow colour and the underside almost becomes white.  In winter the coat becomes a yellowish brown and becomes quite shaggy. The lower parts of the limbs have black markings.

Family life

Takhi live in harems that consist of a dominant stallion and several mares. Young stallions form bachelor bands, which is where they remain until they are able to form their own harems. Males are territorial and compete with other males to acquire females for their harems.

They communicate by twitching their tails and ears or by vocal calls. They also rely mainly on hearing, sight and smell.

The human threat

Takhi are today classified as endangered in the wild, but were once extinct. Prior to reintroduction programs Takhi were last seen in the wild in the Gobi Desert, in south Mongolia. Their numbers dwindled as a result of human interference such as poaching and capture. Today, their main threats are habitat loss and low genetic diversity.

Takhi (Przewalksi's Horse). Photo: Kira Mileham
Takhi (Przewalksi's Horse). Photo: Kira Mileham

Come and meet us

You can get up close to our Takhi at the new Wild Herds exhibit at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.

Taronga has taken an active role in the international Takhi conservation efforts, contributing zoo-born horses for reintroduction to the wild in Mongolia. The Zoo program aims to maintain the genetic variability of herds, as this will best protect the Takhi from the health risks associated with in-breeding.