From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Przewalski's horse (Pronounced Sheh-VAL-ski; /ʃɨˈvælski/ or /zɨˈvɑːlskiː/; Polish: [pʂɛˈvalski]; Equus ferus przewalskii, Mongolian: Тахь, Takhi) or Dzungarian horse, is a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse (Equus ferus) native to the steppes of central Asia, specifically China and Mongolia. At one time extinct in the wild, it has been reintroduced to its native habitat in Mongolia at the Khustain Nuruu National Park, Takhin Tal Nature Reserve and Khomiin Tal. The taxonomic position is still debated, and some taxonomists treat Przewalski's horse as a species, Equus przewalskii. In China, the last wild Przewalski's horses were seen in 1966. The Przewalski's Horse Reintroduction Project of China was initiated in 1985 with the creation of the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding Center.
Common names for this equine include Asian wild horse and Mongolian wild horse. Historical but obsolete names include true tarpan and Mongolian tarpan. The horse is named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.
Most "wild" horses today, such as the American Mustang or the Australian Brumby, are actually feral horses descended from domesticated animals that escaped and adapted to life in the wild. In contrast, Przewalski's horse has never been successfully domesticated and remains a truly wild animal today. Przewalski's horse is one of two known subspecies of Equus ferus, the other being the extinct tarpan (Equus ferus ferus). The Przewalski's horse is considered the only remaining truly wild "horse" in the world and may be the closest living wild relative of the domesticated horse, Equus caballus. There are still a number of other wild equines, including three species of zebra and various subspecies of the African wild ass, onager (including the Mongolian wild ass) and kiang.