Przewalski’s Horses to Return to Kazakhstan

Przewalski Horses

In Astana on February 29th, Roman Vassilenko, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with a Czech delegation led by Miroslav Bobek, director of Prague Zoo, to discuss the reintroduction of Przewalski’s horses to Kazakhstan.

“We have just begun a new chapter on the return of the last wild horses to their natural habitats,” explained Bobek. “Following the success of the horses’ reintroduction to Mongolia, where the population is now thriving, we were approached by the government of Kazakhstan for the same purpose.”

Under an agreement made during a visit to Astana in April 2023 by the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the ‘Return of the Wild Horses Project’ aims to relocate some forty horses from Europe and over five years, increase their population in the Kazakh steppe ecosystem.

The Kazakh Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources reported that two Czech Air Force aircraft carrying the first eight horses are scheduled to arrive on June 2nd from Prague and Berlin. They will then be transported to the Altyn Dala state natural reserve in the Kostanay region.

The Przewalski horse named after the Russian who discovered it and known as ‘takhi’ in Mongolia, is a rare and endangered species. Originally found on the steppes of Central Asia, it had disappeared from the wilds by the sixties. Thanks to special breeding programmes in European zoos, the breed was saved from extinction and since the 1990’s, has been gradually resettled in its native lands.