Minnesota Zoo's Summer Baby-Boom Continues With Births of Two Asian Wild Horses
Apple Valley, MINN – July 30, 2013 – The Minnesota Zoo’s baby boom continues with the birth of two Asian wild horse foals that are making their public debut.
The first foal, a female, was born on July 17; the second, a male, was born on July 20. Each weighing approximately 60 pounds at birth, they can be seen on exhibit with their mothers on the Northern Trail, across from the seasonal Africa! exhibit.
In the 1960s, Asian wild horses , also known as “takhi,” disappeared entirely from the wild. Since then, efforts have been underway to preserve habitat and reintroduce animals from zoos to protected lands – efforts that include the Minnesota Zoo who is playing a key role. More than 40 foals have been born at the Zoo since it opened in 1978, many of which have found homes at other zoos. One stallion went to a semi-preserve in the Netherlands to produce offspring for release in Mongolia. At last count, there were 82 descendants of the Zoo’s stallion still alive in Hustai Nuruu National Park.
Minnesota Zoo staff also manages the Species Survival Plan (SSP) to coordinate breeding and transfer recommendations for the 23 institutions in North America that exhibit Asian wild horses. Due to these recent reintroduction projects and protection efforts, the horse’s status has been upgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered by the International Union of Conservation and Nature (IUCN). Though still rare, the takhi is now returning from the brink of extinction.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For
more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an
accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an
institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).