A small herd of Przewalski's Horse are kept in a semi-wild state in this area. The offspring are used for reintroduction schemes and strengthening the gene pool of zoo populations.
Captive breeding colony.
Extinct in the wild until a semi-free-ranging population was established from captive stock in the 1990s. 300+ animals now exist in the wild in Mongolia, and another 100+ animals in China range free in the summer and are sheltered and fed in the winter. All known Przewalski's horses descend from 13-14 captive founders.
The National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center is part of an international effort to maintain genetic diversity in captive animals for future returns in the wild.
Read more about the zoo's P-horses here:
The wild horse (Equus ferus) is a species of the genus Equus, which includes as subspecies both the modern domesticated horse (Equus ferus caballus) as well as the undomesticated Tarpan (Equus ferus ferus) and Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii). The Przewalski's Horse was saved from the brink of extinction and reintroduced successfully to the wild. The Tarpan became extinct in the 19th century, though it was a possible ancestor of the domestic horse, and roamed the...