Posted on 19th October 2018 by Media Relations
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has double the reason to celebrate with the birth of two Takhi (Przewalski’s Horse) foals just one day apart last week.
Keepers are delighted with the arrival of a female Takhi foal to mother Mila on Tuesday 9 October 2018, and a male Takhi foal to mother Tegus on Wednesday 10 October 2018.
The sire of both foals is Nikolai, and both mothers are first time mums, creating further genetic diversity in the herd. The mothers are each being very protective of their foals, a natural maternal behaviour.
“Both foals were born on exhibit during the day time, much to the delight of visitors during the last week of the school holidays,” said Keeper Jacinta Vaughan.
“The foals were standing and suckling quickly and we couldn’t be happier with how both mums are doing given they are first time mothers.”
The Takhi foals are yet to be named but are both doing well so far. The foals will stay close to their mothers’ side for some time as they grow and develop, and will start to explore their surrounds over the coming months.
“This year has been very successful for the Takhi breeding program with four foals born to date and potentially another one on the way in the coming few months,” Jacinta said.
“The Zoo has also opened the new Wild Herds precinct which really highlights this species, the Zoo’s successful breeding program and its role in assisting to bring the species back from extinction in the wild,” said Jacinta.
The two new foals bring the total Takhi herd to 14, with four foals in the herd, including Dash born in January and Khan born in May this year.
“It’s so wonderful to see the foals of varying ages in the herd. Khan and Dash are already interacting with each other and enjoy galloping around the paddock, so I am sure the two latest additions will join them once they are a little older and more confident,” said Jacinta.
Takhi are today classified as endangered, but were once extinct in the wild. Prior to reintroduction programs in the early 1990s, 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.