Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Przewalski's Horse foal - November 2014

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are excited to announce the birth of a Przewalski’s Horse foal born on 3 November 2014.

The female foal named Mila, meaning loved by the people in Russian, is the second offspring for experienced mother, Suren and was sired by Viktor.

“The foal is doing very well and is continually gaining more strength and confidence. She is still very inquisitive about the exhibit and the herd,” said Keeper, Natacha Richards.

“Suren is displaying all the right maternal behaviours as she continues to bond with her new foal.”

“The foal is only leaving Suren’s side long enough to fulfil her curiosity of her environment before she returns to have a feed and a sleep under her mother’s watchful eye”, said Natacha.

Przewalski’s Horses are critically endangered and were once classified as extinct in the wild. Through the collaboration of world zoos including Taronga Western Plains Zoo, numbers have continued to increase in Mongolia.

From five Taronga Western Plains Zoo mares that were reintroduced to the Gobi Desert in 1995 as part of a world zoo herd of 50 animals, three generations have been born, totalling 18 individuals.

“There are now almost 2000 Przewalski’s Horse in human care and in the wild today, which is a huge step for the species that was once extinct,” said Natacha.

The reintroduction of Przewalski’s Horse to Mongolia is a global conservation success with many zoos and wildlife parks working together to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

“The birth of this foal represents yet another success for the Zoo’s breeding program which also saw another female foal, Tegus, born in February this year,” said Natacha.