Prague, July 1 (ČTK) — Three Przewalski’s horse mares from Prague zoo were sent to Mongolia, their country of origin, aboard a CASA military transport planes today.
Originally, four Przewalski’s horses were to be transported there, but the fourth one was excluded from the transport over complications.
This has been the fourth transport of Przewalski’s horses to Mongolia , organized by the Prague zoo in cooperation with the Czech military.
Since 2011, 12 Przewalski’s horses have been sent to the Gobi B National Park in Mongolia. All of them could stand the trip quite well and they got used to the new habitat.
This year, three other mares will join them: Ulla, Gretel and Bayan.
At the very last moment, the fourth selected mare had to be replaced but no suitable candidate was found, and this is why only three flew to Mongolia to eliminate risks, Prague zoo director Miroslav Bobek told reporters.
The flight lasts 17.5 hours with an intermediate landing in Kazan and Novosibirsk. The plane will finally land in Bulgan, and not directly in the Gobi Desert as originally planned, since the local authorities did not allow that.
From Bulgan, the mares will be driven for seven hours to special enclosures for acclimatization. They will stay there until next spring, when they are to be released among other Przewalski’s horses in the national park.
Prague zoo is one of the main organizers of the transfers of the Przewalski’s horse, the last of which was shot dead in the wild 40 years ago, back to its original homeland.
The transfers from Western Europe started in the 1990s, and more than 100 horses have returned to Mongolia since then.
At present, about 1,900 Przewalski’s horses live all over the world, including some 300 in two national parks in Mongolia.
Prague zoo started breeding the Przewalski’s horse in 1932. It has kept the international pedigree book of this species since 1959.