Rare Przewalski’s Horse Dies at National Zoo Facility

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Przewalski horses (credit: PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)

Przewalski horses (credit: PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)

FRONT ROYAL, Va. — The National Zoo says a Przewalski’s (sheh-VAL-skee’s) horse foal has died at its Conservation Biology Institute.

Keepers found the nearly 4-month-old colt at the barn Wednesday at the Virginia facility where he lived with his mother, another female, and her filly. He was found alongside a fence that was bowed outward and zoo officials say a preliminary necropsy shows a traumatic fracture of his neck.

The zoo says these horses were once extinct in the wild, but have been reintroduced in Mongolian preserves and recently reclassified from critically endangered to endangered.

The foal’s death comes as the zoo makes changes in response to a review that raised concerns about deaths, injuries and escapes. Zoo Director Dennis Kelly says resources are stretched thin because of “budget uncertainty and budget cuts.”

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