China / Society

Six endangered horse foals born in Xinjiang

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-05 21:06

URUMQI - Six Przewalski's horse foals have been born since July during this year's breeding season in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a nature reserve confirmed Tuesday.

The endangered horse's population in Xinjiang has increased to more than 300, with 134 in the region's Fuyun County, according to the Karamay State Nature Reserve on the edge of the Junggar Basin.

The nature reserve has faced unstable weather with a snowless, cold winter and a hot, drought-filled spring, which are not ideal for the Przewalski's horse.

In spite of this, the population of the subspecies grew thanks to the protection efforts and the creation of multiple water sources in the reserve, according to the nature reserve.

Przewalski's horses have historically lived on grasslands that are now part of China's Xinjiang and Mongolia.

As the only surviving horse subspecies never to have been domesticated, the Przewalski faced extinction in the wake of rampant hunting beginning in the early 19th century.

China started a breeding program in 1986 using horses brought back from Britain and Germany to repopulate the subspecies. Scores of horses bred through the program have since been released to the wild.

The population of Przewalski's horses is less than 2,000, even less than that of pandas, according to zoologists.

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