Delight as extremely rare-breed foal born at British zoo

  • A rare Przewalksi’s horse foal has been born in Britain.

    Marwell Zoo, in Hampshire, last week announced the arrival of the extremely rare-breed foal, who is now a month old.

    “Marwell is delighted to announce the birth of a rare Przewalski’s foal. These horses were extinct in the wild from 1969 until 2008, so the birth is exciting for the endangered species,” said a Marwell Zoo spokesman.

    “The male foal was born to parents Nogger and Speranzer on May 28 and has been named Basil after the first male Przewalski’s horse ever to live at the zoo.”

    Basil senior was born in 1963 and joined Marwell in 1970, prior to the zoo opening to the public in 1972. He later moved to San Diego Zoo.

    “The naming of the new foal is a nod to Marwell’s 50th anniversary, which the zoo is celebrating this year,” added the spokesman.

    “Keepers report the new youngster is staying close to its mother and the females of the herd are being protective.

    “The male foal will go on to be an important part of the European ex-situ breeding programme (EEP).”

    The EEP is a population management programme for animals of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and is one of the global assembly of regional breeding schemes for threatened species in zoos.

    Przewalski horses are listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species with populations increasing as a result of zoo breeding programmes.

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