Przewalski's Horse

Equus przewalskii

A portrait of a Przewalski's horse in Hellabrunn Zoo, which is the only animal in the herd looking at the camera. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Endangered
  • Family
    Horses (Equidae)
  • Weight
    200 – 300 kg
  • Habitat

Female power

Whenever a pack of wolves approaches, the old and weak animals, but above all the young, are most vulnerable. At signs of danger, all the mares of the herd form a defensive ring around the foals and fend off the attackers with strong kicks, whether mother or not. Three Przewalski’s mares can keep an entire pack of wolves in check.

The picture shows a Przewalski's horse. The body is turned to the side and its head is looking towards the camera.

The last of their kind

Previously listed as “extinct in the wild”, by the mid-20th century the pressures of hunting, interbreeding with domesticated horses and habitat loss had taken their toll on the population of the Przewalski’s horse. The last confi rmed sighting of an individual living freely in the wild was in 1969. It was only thanks to captive breeding that the world’s last wild horse species could be saved. Today, reintroduction efforts have successfully grown several populations in Mongolia and China – including animals from Hellabrunn Zoo.

Fascinating fact

The wild horse’s characteristic erect mane may hang to the side if an animal is stressed or poorly fed.