A Przewalski’s horse filly has been born at Toronto Zoo, the first such birth in 15 years.
Solstice was born on June 22. She is by Phoenix, and is the first foal out of Alexandra, who is 14.
Przewalski’s horses were once declared extinct in the wild, although re-introduction efforts have taken place.
At present, the Zoo’s herd consists of seven animals, with a total of 150 of these horses in captivity in North America.
“We’re very excited by the birth of this foal, which is a great contribution to the conservation of this critically endangered species,” said Zoo Curator of Mammals, Maria Franke.
Phoenix, a new breeding stallion, was brought to the Toronto Zoo from Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec (on loan from the Calgary Zoo).
Solstice and Alexandra have been integrated into the general herd. “We have been working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan for Przewalski’s horses to match up the best breeding pairs of these animals and to ensure new genetic input into the North American captive population.
Our ultimate aim is to supply horses that could be reintroduced to Mongolia and China,” Maria Franke said.