Last species of ‘truly wild’ horse gives birth at Whipsnade Zoo

·1-min read

A rare and endangered Przewalski foal, the last “truly wild” species of horse, has been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Born on 17 July, the foal is just beginning to explore her surroundings with mother Charlotte.

Keepers asked ZSL conservationists working in Mongolia to name the new foal, who called her Sooton, meaning “sassy and vigilant” in Mongolian.

Team leader Mark Holden said: “We are delighted to welcome another Przewalski foal to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, boosting the number of these incredible endangered animals – the last remaining species of truly wild horse left in the world.”

Sooton is learning to gallop (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)
Sooton is learning to gallop (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

Mr Holden said: “While we monitored the situation carefully, we also knew that, as an experienced mum, Charlotte would know just what to do, and that she would care wonderfully for her newborn foal.

“She’s been very protective, so we’ve kept our distance, happy to see that Sooton’s suckling and developing well.

“Sooton has mostly stayed close to her mum and her big sister Shargahan but is just starting to stretch her legs and try to gallop.”

Unlike other species of horse that are sometimes described as wild, the Przewalski horse is the only species considered by conservationists to be truly wild, as it is not descended from domesticated horses.

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