The Asian wild horse, Equus ferus przewalskii, also known as takhi and Przewalski’s horse, roamed the grassland steppes of Europe and Asia for millennia. But by the late 1960’s, it was driven to extinction in the wild due to human persecution, grazing competition, and high mortality from harsh winters. Thankfully, before Asian wild horses disappeared entirely, several zoos rescued more than a dozen individuals. Over the next several decades, zoos worldwide bred them and worked with in-country partners to reintroduce the descendants back to the wild. Today, there are more than 500 Asian wild horses running free in Mongolia and China. However, their numbers are not yet stabilized and active conservation and management continues.
In 2014, the Asian Wild Horse SSP launched the True Wild Horse Initiative to support in situ research and conservation efforts for Asian wild horses. The SSP encourages AZA-accredited members to support this Initiative. Ultimately, the goal is to realize an expanded and stable wild horse population in their native habitat.
Every year, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide information about their field conservation and science activities to AZA’s Conservation and Research Database. Members enter program updates each year; follow the link and use the search fields to explore how individual AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are helping Asian wild horses and other animals. Read more about the AZA community’s commitment to conservation and science.