Endangered Asian horses added to Winnipeg zoo
Two horses from an endangered Asian species are now calling Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo their new home.
The two male Przewalski's horses, both aged two years, are in the northwest corner of the zoo next to the zebras.
The zoo has never, in its 108-year history, had the Asian wild horses.
"We're very excited to have another new species at the zoo," Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological operations at the Assiniboine Park Zoo stated in a news release.
"Przewalski's horses are quite rare which makes this an even greater addition for our visitors since most have never seen them before."
Originating in Mongolia, Przewalski's horses are smaller than most domestic horses and weigh approximately 440 to 750 pounds.
They standing about 122 to 142 centimetres high, have stocky bodies, spikey manes, and a dark stripe down their backs.
"The last surviving subspecies of the wild horse, they were once declared extinct until being reassessed in 2008 after successful introductions into the wild," according to the zoo news release.
"Now, there are nearly 1,500 living in zoos and breeding facilities and another 400 can be found in the wild."
Przewalski's horses are a part of the species survival program facilitated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The program collates the collection of horses in North America and then matches pairs to ensure the most diverse genetics possible when breeding.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo has plans to expand the number of Przewalski's horses at the zoo and acquire females in the future in order to participate in the breeding program.