Rare foal born at Marwell Zoo after species was threatened with extinction

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Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo. photos: Marwell Zoo
Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo. photos: Marwell Zoo

A NEW arrival has brought excitement to zookeepers at Marwell Zoo.

The birth of Basil the Przewalski horse marks an exciting moment in history for the endangered species, which went extinct in the wild from 1969 until 2008.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the species is listed as ‘endangered’.

Daily Echo: Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo
Daily Echo: Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo

Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo

However, thanks to the work of Marwell and other zoos and conservation facilities, populations are increasing due to breeding programmes.

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The rare foal was born to parents Nogger and Speranzer on May 28 this year and has been named Basil after the first male Przewalski’s horse ever to live at the zoo.

Basil senior was born in 1963 and joined Marwell in 1970 prior to the zoo opening in 1972, before moving on to San Diego Zoo.

The naming of the foal is also a nod to the zoo’s 50th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year.

Daily Echo: Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo. Photos: Marwell Zoo
Daily Echo: Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo. Photos: Marwell Zoo

Basil the Przewalski horse at Marwell Zoo. Photos: Marwell Zoo

Keepers have reported the new foal is “staying close to its mother” and the females of the herd are very “protective.”

Basil will go on to be an important part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Programme.

Przewalski’s horse foals weigh between 25 and 30kg at birth.

They can stand and walk within an hour of being born and within a few weeks they are able to start to graze

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