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Przewalski's Wild Horse
A second chance: Przewalski's wild horse conservation


The Przewalski's horse became extinct in the wild during the 1960s as the result of hunting, competition with livestock, competition with humans for living space and a lack of water in their last refuge. Today reintroduced populations are threatened by hybridization with domestic horses and competition for food and water with domestic horses and other livestock.

Our first visual account of Przewalski's-type wild horses comes from 20,000 year old rock engravings and paintings discovered in caves from Italy, France and Spain. The World Conservation Union declared the Przewalski's horse extinct in the wild in 1970. Thanks to zoos and other facilities where small groups of Przewalski's horses still survived, a breeding conservation program was established in 1977.

Reintroduction efforts are now underway in Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. There are now approximately 325 free-ranging re-introduced and native-born Przewalski's wild horses in Mongolia, the only country where truly wild reintroduced populations exist within its historic range. The success of reintroduction efforts has resulted in the status of the species being elevated from extinct to critically endangered.

The El Paso Zoo joined this global effort in 2010 to help maintain a sustainable population of Przewalski's horses in North America as a safeguard to preserve the species if something ever happens to the wild population. The Zoo is also dedicated to conservation education efforts designed to help people connect with the last wild horses in the world and to take action to help them.

1. Join the El Paso Zoological Society in support of the Zoo's conservation and education programs.

1. Write letters asking your representatives in Congress to support funding for international wildlife conservation programs.

3. Write letters to world leaders asking them to do more to help these animals.

4. Learn about conservation efforts by visiting the websites of non-profit organizations working to help Przewalski's horses .



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