Enclosure share: Bactrian camels and Przewalski’s horses share an enclosure

Visitors to Hellabrunn Zoo now have an opportunity to observe Bactrian camels and Przewalski’s horses living together in the same outdoor enclosure. The socialisation of the two species is exciting, not only for visitors. It also provides enrichment for the animals.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

The Przewalski’s horses appear somewhat reserved towards their new, two-humped fellow residents. The Bactrian camels, on the other hand, seem to quite enjoy the large, sunny enclosure - after all, a meadow enclosure in the late autumn sunshine is a sure source of delight.

"With the socialisation of the two species, we would like to offer both the Bactrian camel and the world’s last remaining truly wild horse a new and varied experience," says Dr Christine Gohl, curator for the Przewalski’s horse and head veterinarian at Hellabrunn Zoo. 

Hellabrunn Zoo has been actively involved in several breeding and conservation projects for the endangered Przewalski’s horse throughout Europe for many years. In collaboration with partners, the zoo supports grazing projects in Tennenlohe, Hanau, Gießen and Augsburg, as well as in the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Hortobágy National Park in Hungary, where a considerable number of the wild horses, originally native to the steppes of Central Asia, are being cared for. In addition to breeding, the grazing projects have given the Przewalski’s horse a new role as a landscape conservationist.

Every Przewalski’s horse living today is a descendant of 13 horses captured in 1945. Thanks to the commitment of European zoos working under the European Endangered Species programme (EEP), the population of this wild horse has grown from the brink of extinction in the mid-20th century to currently about 700 horses in 73 enclosures in Europe. Hellabrunn Zoo is home to six Przewalski’s horses and four Bactrian camels.