Critically endangered horses find home at Kamloops Wildlife Park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Cloudy
0.0°C

Kamloops News

Critically endangered horses find home at Kamloops Wildlife Park

Takhi (mare) and Napoleon (stallion), are two rare Przewalski’s horses that just arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Tracy Reynolds
November 12, 2020 - 6:30 AM

A pair of the world's rarest horses are the newest residents of Kamloops's B.C. Wildlife Park.

Takhi, the mare, and Napoleon the stallion, are Przewalski’s horses, a species which was nearly eradicated in the 1960s. They are the world's only true wild horse, native to Central Asia. 

"They are quite well-suited to our climate, and we've had them here in the past," animal care manager Tracy Reynolds said.

Takhi (mare) and Napoleon (stallion), two rare Przewalski’s horses that just arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Takhi (mare) and Napoleon (stallion), two rare Przewalski’s horses that just arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Tracy Reynolds

Takhi and Napoleon have taken up residence in the enclosure that used to house the Wildlife Park's moose, Cherry. 

"We had discussed doing another species survival plan for another animal that is critically endangered that we could make a difference with," she said.

A species survival plan is implemented by zoos to breed endangered animals in the safety of captivity and return their offspring to the wild in an effort to rebuild the population. 

"Zoos have a pretty critical role in trying to prevent this next mass extinction," she said. "There's so many species they're trying to save."

When the wild population of Przewalski’s horses died off from habitat loss and other factors in the 1960s, the only remaining individuals were those housed in zoos. 

All Przewalski’s horses today come from those remaining individuals, which was about 14 horses total, Reynolds said.

Takhi and Napoleon will most likely live out the rest of their lives at the Wildlife Park, as they are both too old to introduce into the wild. However, if their breeding is successful, their offspring may have a chance to return to their natural habitat. 

"They've done a few releases in Mongolia, and the next one will be in Russia," she said.

Takhi (mare) and Napoleon (stallion), two rare Przewalski’s horses that just arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Takhi (mare) and Napoleon (stallion), two rare Przewalski’s horses that just arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Tracy Reynolds

The horses are truly wild — frisky and skittish by nature. They've never been domesticated and aren't ridden, because of their very high energy and tendency to bite and kick more often than a normal horse.

"As far as we can see so far from these two, they're actually really nice horses, they're quite calm," Reynolds said. "They're not fitting that stereotype quite so much, which is great from our point of view."

The rare pair arrived to the B.C. Wildlife Park from the Grandby Zoo in Quebec on Nov. 5.

Once they have finished their precautionary 30 day quarantine, they will be on public display at the park.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020
iNFOnews

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile