4 rare wild horses born in Xinjiang

Photo taken on May 23, 2019, shows a foal of the rare Przewalski's horses born on May 22. [Photo/Xinhua]

Four foals of the rare Przewalski's horses have been born in the Tianshan Wildlife Park in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region this month.

The Przewalski's horse, named after its Russian discoverer, is an endangered species native to the desert grassland of Central Asia. In Xinjiang, the species mainly inhabit in the northern Junggar Basin. It is considered the only wild horse in existence today.

As of May, when the breeding season of the horses started, eight foals were born in the wildlife park. There are still two mares awaiting delivery in the park, said Ding Xinmin, deputy director of the wildlife park, adding that this year the park will see more foals born here than ever before.

The rare horses faced extinction in the wake of rampant hunting beginning in the early 19th century. China started a breeding program in 1986 using 24 horses brought back from Britain and Germany to repopulate the subspecies.

The wild horse breeding research center at the Kalamaili State Nature Reserve in northern Xinjiang is the largest center of its kind in Asia. It has worked toward restoring the population of wild horses.

Since 2004, the research center has sent more than 60 Przewalski's horses to Tianshan Wildlife Park as they have cooperated on releasing the Przewalski's horses to the wild.

So far, a total of 703 foals of the Przewalski's horses have been born in Xinjiang since 1986.

There are about 2,000 Przewalski's horses in the world today.