Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mongolian Wild Horses

The Denver Zoo is home to four Mongolian Wild Horses.  These horses, which also known as Przewalski Horses or Takhi, are a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse native to the steppes of central Asia, specifically China and Mongolia.  Unlike the American Mustang or the Australian Brumby, Mongolian Wild Horses are truly wild, not feral.

The Denver herd is composed of one stallion and three mares.  This is the stallion.
 He is easily identifiable by the dark markings on either side of his neck.
Like all Mongolian Wild Horses, he is dun in color with primitive markings (dorsal stripe, leg barring).
Usually the wild horses are pretty sedate, but this guy was really feeling his oats yesterday. 
Doesn't he look like a little war horse! 
This mare is the darkest member of the herd.
Her coat is more grey than yellow and her tails is black all the way to the very top. 
In contrast, this mare is definitely yellow. 
She also seems to be the boss mare, and more than once she went out of her way to put that frisky stallion in his place.
Pleased with herself! 
The third mare appears to be a senior citizen. 
Her coat is long and rough, she's thinner than the others and her gait is a bit stiff and creaky.
Still, she has the loveliest face--so kind and wise!
I really enjoyed watching the Mongolian Wild Horses at the Denver Zoo yesterday.  Hope I can get back for another visit soon!


  1. They are beautiful. :) Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  2. Lovely photos! Thanks! No foals?

  3. Very cool. They are definitely on my to-see list.

  4. I know foals are very hard for zoos to come by in regards to the Mongolian Wild Horses, as many are having reproductive problems related to the very limited gene pool. I don't have the exact numbers anymore, but I know that all Mongolian Wild Horses in the U.S. zoos propagated from a very limited number of original founding animals. This is a serious problem for zoos with a variety of other species as well.

  5. I, too, was wondering about little ones. It stinks that they have reproductive problems. :-( I wonder how much human contact/handling these horses will tolerate? They certainly don't look very mean.

    When I lived in Nashville I enjoyed seeing the Mongolian wild horses at the zoo there. I just checked the website, and it doesn't look like they have them there anymore... I wonder why. Bummer.

  6. I did wonder a bit about the lack of foals. I've been going to that zoo once or twice a year for the last decade and there have never been any foals. I wish there were. I can't even begin to imagine how cute that would be!

    Just for comparison sake, here's a link to pictures of the Mongolian Wild Horses from 2009. The mare (I'm assuming it's the yellow mare) looks much the same, but the stallion has really filled out. The difference is remarkable so I suspect he was quite young in 2009.

  7. I actually get to work with these wonderful animals here in Denver. Bartaar is the Stallion, Dark female is Yisun and light female is Saikhan. The last female is Bernia and believe it or not, she is the boss of the herd. I loved all your guys' comments and what great pictures! They are very near and dear to my heart and you all just made my day!! Thanks for your support.
    And it is not for a lack of trying, Bataar has been trying but this will only be his 3rd year with us and he is still young so HOPEFULLY one day we will have so cute little ones!

  8. Thank you so much for that information, AJ! I love knowing their names. It makes me want to go back and visit them again really, really soon! Lucky you, getting to work with such lovely animals.


    1. Can I purchase a saddle from Mrs. Purdy or your self?

    2. Sorry. Tiffany is a black hole collector and I am not taking orders right now. My saddles come up for sale occasionally on the secondary market. If you're looking for one, you might want to keep an eye on Model Horse $ales Page. Good luck!

  9. I will be using this! =3 first- for a project.
    second- for a drawing! :D The stallion is GORGEOUS and his anatomy is a copy of my sweet muscle-pony! :P