Przewalski’s Horses were once classified as extinct in the wild. However in 1995, Monarto Safari Park participated in a program which saw seven horses successfully reintroduced to Takhi Tal Nature Reserve in Mongolia, leading to the species forming functional breeding herds in its native habitat. As a result, in 2008 their status was downgraded from extinct to critically endangered.
The Przewalski’s Horse is an ancient breed. If you were to walk around Eurasia 10,000 years ago during the last ice age, one would encounter Wooly Mammoths, Sabre-tooth Tigers and the Przewalski’s Horse. They’ve managed to survive massive climate change which has wiped out other species and can tolerate some very extreme climatic conditions.
Over time the pure Przewalski’s bloodline can be bred out of wild populations, due to inter-breeding with other feral horses, leading to the species’ ultimate extinction. The population we have at Monarto Safari Park is a pure population making these animals very important to the global Przewalski’s Horse conservation program.