The national symbol of Mongolia, the Przewalski horse or Takh, has returned to its country of origin. The only truly wild horse has recovered from a captive existence abroad to now roam free in the wild forests and steppes of the Hustai National Park. The remarkable come-back tells a story that spans well over 30 years.
First, a breeding programme secured the genetic basis that allowed to build a new population. Second, two generations of selected horses hardened-off and re-learnt their social behaviour in semi-reserves in The Netherlands and Germany. Third, groups from the semi-reserves were brought to a carefully selected natural area in Mongolia. Here, in their natural habitat, they were finally set free.
Today, Przewalski horses prosper in Hustai National Park. They display their natural group-behaviour, stand the harsh winters, protect their young from wolves and produce offspring. Once this viable population was secured, the current programme’s activities are concentrated on the park’s protection and to help ascertain a novel and durable relationship between man and the Przewalski horse.
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