Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Last Wild Horse

While in the throes of winter, when riding can be numbing and painful, I have turned greater attention to my studies at Michigan State University. While getting my Master, I am creating a husbandry care manual for the last remaining species of true wild horses, the Przewalski’s horse or Asian wild horse. This equine is a descendant of the domestic horse and remains untrainable. While many people think the mustangs out West are wild, they are actually domestic horses that went feral when they escaped from the Spanish conquistadors and the settlers out in the plains and mountains. There are only about 1500 Prezwalski’s horses left, mainly in zoos though a couple hundred have been reintroduced to part of their old home range, Mongolia. These animals used to roam all over Asia and Europe until they were reduced to only thirteen captive horses because of hunting in the 20th century. With careful breeding, their numbers are now above 1000, which is truly remarkable. There is no current guide on how to care for these wonderful horses in captivity. By creating a manual from existing data and observations, zoos will have a reference for these equines.

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