Skip to main content

Minn. Zoo continues efforts to protect rare horses with birth of foals


Two 2-week-old Asian wild horses, a rare breed that's returning from the brink of extinction, made their first appearances at the Minnesota Zoo Wednesday.

The zoo says the foals, weighing about 60 pounds at birth, can be found with their mothers on the Northern Trail.

The Star Tribune said the female born on July 17 was named Varushka and the male born on July 17 was named Otradnoye.

Also known as "takhi," Asian wild horses disappeared entirely from the wild in the 1960s. With more than 40 foals born there, the Minnesota Zoo has played a major role in efforts to bring back the population. Many of the animals found homes at other zoos, but one stallion went to a semi-preserve in the Netherlands to produce offspring for release in Mongolia, where 82 descendants still live at Hustai Nuruu National Park.

Thanks to protection programs, Asian wild horses have been recently upgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered by the International Union of Conservation and Nature.

As of 2011, more than 300 Asian wild horses again roam their native habitats in China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan, according to the zoo.

Next Up

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.


Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.


Rare tiger cub moves to the Minnesota Zoo

An Amur tiger cub born at the Minnesota Zoo last month has a new buddy from St. Louis. Zoo officials decided it was best for the endangered cubs to be raised together. Both are also being "hand-reared" because their mothers could not successfully nurse them.