The return of Mongolia's wild horses
In an official ceremony organized by WWF-Mongolia, government officials, local authorities, and tribesmen marked their homecoming in a traditional Mongolian tradition of dropping milk on the heads of the horses as a sign of good luck.
The 12 horses, five male and seven female, bred in a French nature reserve by the Association for Takhi Conservation — arrived on 5 September to their new home in the Khomiin Tal steppe.
Khomiin Tal, occupying 2,500km2 in western Mongolia, acts as a buffer zone to the Khar Us Nuur National Park and is part of the Altay-Sayan Ecoregion, which consists of high mountain taiga, tundra, forest, wetland, steppe, and desert.
The Altay-Sayan Ecoregion is one of WWF's Global 200 ecoregions — a science-based global ranking of the world's most biologically outstanding habitats and the regions on which WWF concentrates its efforts.
According to WWF-Mongolia Director Chimeg Junain, a feasibility study conducted in 1998 identified Khomiin Tal as appropriate area for the reintroduction of the takhi horse (Equus ferus przewalski), also known as the Przewalskii.
With a small build, upright mane, an ass-like tail, and dark brown legs, the takhi is considered the world’s only genuine wild horse.
Two other takhi horse populations are found in Mongolia — one in the Khustai mountains in the central part of the country and one in Takhiin Tal in the southern Altai region.
For further information:
Chimeg Junain, Director
WWF Mongolia Programme Office
Tel: +976 11 311 659