A herd of takhi running around wild in Mongolia. Unlike most “wild horses” around the world, takhi are not the descendants of escaped domestic horses. They have never been tamed.
In 1945, after they had been hunted to extinction in the wild, and Nazis invading Ukraine had shot the majority of the zoo population, there were only twelve takhi left. Today there are over a thousand, including about 300 who have been returned to the wild in Mongolia, and more every year. Yay!
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is reporting the birth of the first takhi (Mongolian wild horse) conceived by artificial insemination. Artificial Insemination will make it possible to breed takhi without stressing them out by transporting them, and is good news for the continued recovery of the endangered species. Also, cute baby horse. :)
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have succeeded in mapping the DNA of a 700,000 year old wild horse from a five-inch long bone found frozen in the Yukon. This is the oldest DNA sequence recovered so far.
The study revealed that horses and donkeys probably shared a common ancestor about 4 million years ago, and confirmed that the takhi, an endangered wild horse found in Mongolia, is the last true wild horse.
A takhi (Przewalksi’s Horse) was born Friday at the Denver Zoo to mother Yisun and father Bataar. Takhi are endangered, but their numbers are growing. They were once extinct in the wild, but now there are over 300 bred in zoos and released in Mongolia. Scruffy tough takhi are thought to be the ancestors of all domestic horses.
The Mongolian government has made a gift of three takhi (Prezewalksi’s horse) to the Japanese government. The takhi will live on grassland at TAMA Zoological Park near Tokyo. The gift expresses thanks for Japan’s “help during hard times” - not sure if that refers to something specific, or if it is just diplomacy.
Look at their stripey manes! Sturdy takhi are believed to be the ancestors of domestic horses today.
Are you all sick of pictures of Mongolian animals wandering in snow yet? Too bad, here’s some takhi (Przewalsi’s Horse) wandering in snow. Photo by Jan Wigsten.
Four takhi (przewalski’s horse or wild horse) were shipped from a Czech zoo to join the wild takhi in Mongolia July 17th. Takhi went extinct in the 60s, but have been reintroduced from zoo populations in Europe and America and are doing well.
Top: peeking out of a shipping container. Source
Bottom: inside the temporary enclosure, getting used to Mongolia’s weather before being let free for good. Source
June 5th was the 20th anniversary of reintroducing takhi bred in zoos to the wild in Mongolia.
Takhi, wild horses that have never been tamed - most wild horses are feral horses descended from tame horses - went extinct in the wild in the 1960s. Today there are 300 in wild herds in Mongolia, and about a thousand more in zoos around the world, all decended from the last twelve captive takhi in 1950, after Nazi soldiers shot most of the remaining ones on a nature preserve in Ukraine.
In 2005, their classification was changed from “extinct” to “critically endangered” and in 2011 to just “endangered”.
It is foaling season for takhi, the original wild horses, and so far the news is good. Despite a harsh winter, at least three mares in the wild Mongolian herd have foaled, as well as this high energy colt born at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Australia.
There are about 1700 takhi left, and they had been extinct in the wild, but a group of 300 has been reintroduced in Mongolia and their numbers seem to be growing.
Animal care workers at Hortobagy National Park in Hungary try to catch a takhi (Przewalski’s horse) to be sent to Mongolia to join the wild herd.
The takhi has this expression like “lol, whatever.”