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An endangered Przewalski’s Horse foal has been born at Britain’s popular Port Lympne Reserve in Kent.
Born two weeks ago, the colt is the second to be born at the park in a year and his arrival is good news for the species.
Bob Savill, head of the reserve’s Hoofstock Section, said the colt would help ensure the survival of the species, “which was once wiped out completely”.
“We’re delighted to welcome this little fella to our herd of Przewalski horses. 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,” Savill said.
Native to Mongolia, the Przewalski’s Horse was declared extinct in the wild in the 1970s. Through one of the most successful co-operative breeding programmes ever run, the species was successfully bred in captivity and protected. After positive reintroductions to the wild the horses were classed by the IUCN as critically endangered, before their status was revised to endangered in 2011.
“This little foal is doing really well and it’s lovely to watch him finding his feet and becoming bolder on a daily basis, although he doesn’t leave his mother’s side for too long,” Savill said.
“This breed of horse is extremely hardy and they are used to temperatures that can be as low as 40 degrees below freezing, so a little bit of rain is no problem for him.”
Visitors to the reserve, near Ashford, will be able to see the foal and the herd of wild horses on the Asian Experience, when they jump on board a safari truck at Basecamp to enjoy a safari.
Port Lympne Reserve works with The Aspinall Foundation, a world leading conservation charity. The reserve is one of Kent’s most popular visitor attractions. Profits from the park and accommodation at Port Lympne Reserve go towards helping The Aspinall Foundation’s efforts to save rare and endangered species, both in the UK and overseas.
Since it was founded in April 1984, The Aspinall Foundation has become a world leader in animal conservation; helping to protect a wide range of critically endangered species internationally, including western lowland gorillas and black rhino, and has pioneered ground-breaking reintroduction projects.
The foundation manages conservation projects in Congo, Gabon, Indonesia and Madagascar, as well as providing financial support to various partner projects around the world. The conservation charity’s important work helps prevent some of the most endangered species on the planet from becoming extinct.