The Przewalski's horse, aka the Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered wild horse native to the steppes of China and Mongolia. It was once extinct in the wild. Efforts however have been taken to reintroduce it to it's original habitat. This has been in limited numbers though.

Recently there was some really great news for this endangered horse at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. A female foal was born after a 340 day pregnancy from artificial insemination. This represents a huge breakthrough for the survival of this species. It took seven years to perfect the technique that led to this birth.

According to SCBI reproductive physiologist Budhan Pukazhenthi, “It seems reasonable to assume that reproduction for the Przewalski’s horse would be similar to domestic horses, but it simply isn’t the case. After all these years of persevering, I can honestly say I was elated to receive the call informing me that the foal had been born. I couldn’t wait to see her! This is a major accomplishment, and we hope our success will stimulate more interest in studying and conserving endangered equids around the world.”

Ultrasound technology was used to confirm the pregnancy about 35 days after the insemination. The mare’s pregnancy was then monitored closely for 11 months measuring urinary hormone levels and visual keys such as her growing belly.

According to the Smithsonian, "The usefulness of artificial insemination is that it does not require both animals to be together for a successful mating. The transport of animals to different locations can be difficult, dangerous, costly and potentially stressful to the individual. By contrast, the collection of semen can be safely accomplished under the supervision of veterinary staff and significantly improves the efficiency of managing small populations of endangered species.

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The birth of Anne and Agi’s filly required hormonal treatments for inducing ovulation in a mare, specialized animal-handling facilities, conditioning Anne to provide urine samples for hormone monitoring and routine ultrasounds. This accomplishment validates the importance of integrating animal management in the research and development of assisted reproductive technologies for endangered species."

Responses to "Rare Przewalski foal was born from artificial insemination to help preserve the species (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Any thing to keep the species going ~

  2. A beautiful equine

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow!!! Absolutely amazing... hope the animals are well taken care of...

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