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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus)

Captive History

  • Animal collectors Baron Friedrich von Falz-Fein, of Askaniya Nova, and first Duke of Bedford, Carl Hagenbeck to capture the newly discovered horses for their collections
  • 53 Mongolian wild horses arrived in Europe between 1899 and 1902.
  • Takhis purchased by Baron Falz-Fein produced 37 offspring. A few were given to western zoos, but the vast majority remained at Askanya Nova, where they all died during World War II.
  • Only 26 animals survived in zoos, and of these only 11 were reproductive. A 12th founder could be imported from the wild in 1947.
  • Creation of first studbook by Dr. Erna Mohr in 1957 based on her knowledge of animals in Berlin, Hamburg and Halle
  • 228 animals in captivity between 1899 and 1958
  • Studbook published annually after 1958 by Jiri Volf of Prague Zoo.
  • Captive breeding programs exist in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including Chinese and Mongolian breeding and reintroduction programs.


  • Breeding is closely monitored to prevent inbreeding
  • Multiple health concerns require careful husbandry planning and veterinary attention

Page Citations

Boyd & Houpt (1994)
Robert (2005)
Wakefield et al. (2006)

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