Minnesota Zoo debuts newborn Asian horses
A pair of Asian wild horses born at the Minnesota Zoo in mid-July made their public debut on July 31.
The first foal, a female, was born July 17; the second, a male, was born July 20. Each weighed about 60 pounds.
They are a rare sight — not only because they’re native to a land across the Pacific Ocean, but also because the horses, known as “takhi,” disappeared from the wild in the 1960s.
Since 1978, more than 40 foals have been born at the Apple Valley zoo, and staff manage a Species Survival Plan, which coordinates breeding efforts across North America to repopulate the horses’ native habitat.
The efforts are paying off: The International Union of Conservation and Nature upgraded the horses’ status from critically endangered to endangered in 2011.
One stallion from the Minnesota Zoo went on to a preserve in the Netherlands. More than 80 descendants of the stallion are still alive in Hustai Nuruu National Park in Mongolia.
The new foals can be seen at the Northern Trail exhibit, across from the Africa! exhibit.