The 9th Return of the Wild Horses to Mongolia was successful

News

20. 06. 2019


Despite the difficulties at the start of the transport, which culminated in having to unload one mare, Tania, from the plane just before Tuesday’s take-off from Kbely, we managed to safely transport the three remaining mares to the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area. Shortly after nine in the evening Tarik, Tara and Spina rushed out of the transport boxes into the acclimatization enclosure. They will spend about a year here.

Shortly after nine in the evening Tarik, Tara and Spina rushed out of the transport boxes into the acclimatization enclosure. They will spend about a year here. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo Shortly after nine in the evening Tarik, Tara and Spina rushed out of the transport boxes into the acclimatization enclosure. They will spend about a year here. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

“The number of Przewalski's horses that we have transported from Europe to Western Mongolia, in cooperation with the Czech Army, has now increased to thirty-four,” said Miroslav Bobek, director of Prague Zoo. “Thanks to them and their descendants, the Gobi B population has increased to about 270 individuals and should soon be fully viable.”

The mare Tara, born in Dolni Dobrejov, directly in Prague Zoo’s acclimatization station, was the second to run out of the transport crate in Takhin Tal. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooThe mare Tara, born in Dolni Dobrejov, directly in Prague Zoo’s acclimatization station, was the second to run out of the transport crate in Takhin Tal. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

This year two of the three mares that were transported to Mongolia came from Prague Zoo. “The mare Tárik was born in Prague, Tara in our breeding station in Dolní Dobřejov. Only Spina is from Springe in Germany,” said Jaroslav Šimek, the zoo’s deputy. “In the past years, we mainly transported animals from breeding facilities in Germany, France, Finland and so on, although, naturally, our offspring were among them.”

However, Prague Zoo’s support for the return of Przewalski's horses to the wild is much broader. Today the managers of the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area were given an off-road car and six motorcycles from Prague Zoo, which were paid for from the “Three Crowns from Entry”.

The managers of the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area were given an off-road car and six motorcycles from Prague Zoo, which were paid for from the “Three Crowns from Entry”. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague ZooThe managers of the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area were given an off-road car and six motorcycles from Prague Zoo, which were paid for from the “Three Crowns from Entry”. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

Meet Spina, Tara and Tárik – three mares that were transported to Mongolia this year

From the left: Tara, Tárik and SpinaFrom the left: Tara, Tárik and Spina

This year two of the three mares that were transported to Mongolia came from Prague Zoo. The mare Tárik was born in Prague, Tara in our breeding station in Dolní Dobřejov. Only Spina is from Springe in Germany.

Spina was born 25. 7. 2014 in the German wildlife reserve of Wisentgehege Springe, from where she was transported to Prague Zoo on 12. 4. 2017 and subsequently went to the breeding and acclimatization station in Dolní Dobřejov. She was already one of the candidates for last year’s transport and has a dominant but calm nature. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooSpina was born 25. 7. 2014 in the German wildlife reserve of Wisentgehege Springe, from where she was transported to Prague Zoo on 12. 4. 2017 and subsequently went to the breeding and acclimatization station in Dolní Dobřejov. She was already one of the candidates for last year’s transport and has a dominant but calm nature. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Tara was born on 18. 5. 2015 in Dolni Dobrejov, directly in Prague Zoo’s acclimatization station. Her father is the stallion Nikolaj, her mother the mare Warsa. She is the 224th foal to be born in Prague Zoo. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooTara was born on 18. 5. 2015 in Dolni Dobrejov, directly in Prague Zoo’s acclimatization station. Her father is the stallion Nikolaj, her mother the mare Warsa. She is the 224th foal to be born in Prague Zoo. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Tárik was born on 6. 11. 2015 in Prague; she is the 227th foal to be born in Prague Zoo. Her parents are the stallion Len and the mare Hara, both of whom can be seen in the run at Prague Zoo. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague ZooTárik was born on 6. 11. 2015 in Prague; she is the 227th foal to be born in Prague Zoo. Her parents are the stallion Len and the mare Hara, both of whom can be seen in the run at Prague Zoo. Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

The project's partners and supporters

The reintroduction of the Przewalski's horse is happening thanks to cooperation with the Czech Army and the Gobi B Strictly Protected Area. The main source of funds for carrying out The Return of the Wild Horses and the other activities mentioned below are the “Three Crowns (formerly two crowns) from Entry”, which are donated by Prague City Hall, and the collection account “We Help them Survive”, which is a public donation fund. This year the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Kölner Zoo (Germany) and Tierpark Berlin (Germany) also contributed to the transport. The transport is likewise carried out with the help of the ITG (International Takhi Group).

We thank all of our sponsors!

Prague Zoo’s other activities in Gobi B

The Return of Wild Horses project is not just about transporting Przewalski’s horses. Prague Zoo’s associated activities are also very important. Through the assistance of the Czech Development Agency it was possible to build posts for the rangers in the Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, haylofts and renovate the hospital in the village of Bij. Another very important activity was that Prague Zoo, with the support of its partners, built a well for drinking water in Tachin tal. Prague Zoo has also purchased several off-road vehicles to aid Gobi B employees in their work and gives an annual contribution to keep them running. During this year’s trip to Mongolia Prague Zoo also handed over another off-road vehicle and six motorcycles for the Gobi B administration. Last but not least, Prague Zoo also co-finances research activities in this area.

The expansion of Gobi B

On 2. 5. 2019, the Mongolian Parliament approved, by a clear majority (67.4%), the proposal to extend the Gobi B Strictly Protected Area from 9,271 km² to the current 18,357 km² i.e. an expansion of 9,086 km². This was also due to interventions from both Czech diplomacy and Prague Zoo.