Two Asian wild horses now call Lee Richardson Zoo home. Berezhnei, a 20-year-old male, and Yelena, a 31-year-old female, arrived Tuesday, November 1, from Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
Asian wild horses are also called Przewalski’s (sheh-VAHL-skee) horses or Mongolian wild horses. Zoo staff said the newest residents unloaded calmly and proceeded to explore their new home.
“I’m thrilled to have an equid species at the zoo again,” said Keeper II Pablo Holguin. “I know they’ll be very popular with our guests. The camels definitely find their new neighbors interesting.”
Asian wild horses were once extinct in the wild, but thanks to captive populations in Europe and the United States, the species is being reestablished in its native habitat in Mongolia and China.
“We’re glad we get to share the story of the Asian wild horse with our community,” said Zoo Director Kristi Newland. “We can all learn from their story and play a role in conservation efforts to help this and other endangered species.”
Another Asian wild horse is slated to join the duo in the upcoming months. The species has never been domesticated.