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Przewalski's Horse Born

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:35am
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A couple of weeks ago, one of Monarto Zoo’s breeding pairs of Przewalski's Horses  produced another valuable foal for this critically endangered species.

The foal is the first born to the pairing up of Kolya and Rosanna. These two animals were introduced to each other a little over 12 months ago in our off-display breeding area, and right from the word go, indications were very encouraging that they would breed.  Kolya showed a lot of interest in her, and several matings were observed by the keeping staff in a relatively short space of time.

The foal was born overnight on October 18th. As it happened overnight, we have no idea how long the birth took. Going by how protective the mother is of the foal, and how strong the foal appears to be by sticking close to mum, it went extremely well (incidentally, the keeping staff have never witnessed the birth of a Przewalski’s Horse foal, they have always given birth overnight!).

In fact, Rosanna is being such a good mum that the keeping staff can’t get anywhere near the foal to even determine what sex it is! The minute she sees a vehicle enter the enclosure she is off in the other direction.

The enclosure that Rosanna is being held in is off-limits to the public. Although it is unfortunate that this foal can’t be viewed by visitors to the park, it was specifically planned this way to give her ideal conditions in which to raise the foal. She has previously not reacted well to the close presence of vehicles and people, and so with this in mind, the welfare of mum and foal were put first. At this stage, this certainly appears to have been a good decision.

Monarto Zoo has successfully bred in excess of 40 Przewalski’s Horses since a population was first imported from the United Kingdom in the mid-1980’s. We have been one of the regional leaders in Przewalski’s Horse conservation during this time, and, with a few more mares due to foal in the coming months, this work is sure to continue.

Ungulate Keeper, Monarto Zoo


Posted By: David on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 2:51pm
That's wonderful news! I only just caught up with it and while I would be loath to leave a near-birthing horse overnight in case of complications this is at least the most natural way possible for these truly wild horses. Congratulations on the successful breeding, may there be many more!
Posted By: Kathy B on Sunday, November 28, 2010 9:39am

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