Saturday 1 October 2016

Rare horse birth hailed by wildlife experts

Published 01/09/2015 | 15:49

A two-week-old male rare Przewalski foal makes his park debut with his mother Ula at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford in Kent
A two-week-old male rare Przewalski foal makes his park debut with his mother Ula at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford in Kent
The species was once declared extinct in the wild

Keepers at a British animal park have hailed the birth of a rare species of horse once declared extinct in the wild.

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The male Przewalski foal was born to mother Ula at Port Lympne Reserve near Ashford, Kent - the second of the species to arrive there in a year.

Bob Saville, head of hoofstock section at Port Lympne, said: "He will help ensure the survival of the species, which was once completely wiped out.

"We have previously returned these horses to the wild in China and Mongolia, and we are looking into returning more of these wonderful animals in the near future."

Declared extinct in the wild in the 1970s, a programme led to them being successfully bred in captivity and protected.

After being reintroduced to the wild, the horses were classed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically-endangered, then revised to endangered in 2011.

Mr Saville added: "This little foal is doing really well and it's lovely to watch him finding his feet and becoming bolder on a daily basis."

A competition is being run on Port Lympne's social media channels for people to suggest a name for the animal.

Press Association

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