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Extinction by NAIS


Windt im Wald Farm
Geauga County, Northeast Ohio
since 1995


In 1879 a Russian named Przewalski just happened to be in the part of Asia known as Mongolia. He was busy studying the wildlife when he spotted a herd of wild horse-like creatures. They were all shades of yellow, gray-yellow, and light brown with a much lighter colored muzzle and a black stripe across the back and a short, thick neck. Today we would call the color dun, grullo, or buckskin. Mongolians named this stocky 12-14 hand pony takhi. Like a zebra, it had a short, bristly upright black mane without a forelock between its ears, and a tail with just a short brush of black hair.

By the early 1900s many zoos in Europe and the United States owned these distinct creatures. By 1969 there were no Przewalski horses left in Mongolia. Many zoos discovered that their prized Przewalskis had difficulty breeding on because so many of the foals died in captivity. In 1981 the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse was formed in The Netherlands to reintroduce the animals back into Mongolia. By 1998 there were more than 60 of these ponies in a 24,000 acre Mongolian national park, while 1450 lived in 135 zoos worldwide.

All domestic breeds of horses carry 64 chromosomes. The Przewalski horse has only 64, but if it is bred to a domestic horse, the resulting foal will have 65 chromosomes and be able to be bred back to either a domestic horse or a Przewalski horse.

Diane Jones
Windt im Wald Farm

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