Przewalski’s horse (named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky) is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of Mongolia central Asia. The last wild Przewalski’s horses had been seen there in 1966
Previously thought to be extinct in the wild it is gradually being reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia.
Most “wild” horses today, such as the American Mustang, are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild. In contrast, Przewalski’s horse has never been domesticated and remains a truly wild animal today.
All Przewalski horses in the world are descended from nine of the 31 horses in captivity in 1945. These nine horses were mostly descended from approximately 15 captured around 1900. From a population of 31 horses in captivity in 1945, the total number of these horses by the early 1990s was over 1,500.
A cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists has resulted in successful reintroduction of these horses from zoos into their natural habitat in Mongolia.
In the wild, Przewalski’s horses live in small, permanent family groups consisting of one adult stallion, one to three mares, and their common offspring. Offspring stay in the family group until they are no longer dependent, usually at two or three years old. Bachelor stallions, and sometimes old stallions, join bachelor groups. Family groups can join together to form a herd that moves together.