41 rare horses born in China's Xinjiang

A total of 41 rare Przewalski's horse foals have been born in Xinjiang's Junggar Basin -- the main habitat for the breed in China -- in the first half of this year.

Twenty-nine of the new foals were born in the wild in the Kalamaili Nature Reserve, six were born in captivity while another six in semi-captivity, according to Ma Xinping, director of the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center.

Przewalski's horses are the only surviving horse subspecies never to have been domesticated. They have historically lived on grasslands that are now part of northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Mongolia.

The subspecies disappeared on the basin due to rampant hunting and environmental problems. From the 1980s, the Chinese government started a breeding program using horses brought back from Britain and Germany to repopulate the subspecies.

At present, the population of the rare horse in Xinjiang has increased to 479, including 96 in captivity. There are about 2,000 Przewalski's horses worldwide.