Prague, March 14 (CTK) - The Prague Zoo is preparing to transport four Przewalski's horse mares to Mongolia in the middle of July, zoo director Miroslav Bobek told CTK yesterday, adding that a military CASA plane will again be used.
The Prague Zoo has kept a world stud book on the species since 1959.
"We are planning to take four mares from Prague to [the Mongolian national park] Gobi B," Bobek said.
The CASA has room for just four horses, he said and added that chief-of-staff Josef Becvar has already agreed with the use of the military plane.
"At the same time, he approved the use of the CASA for the flight from Bulgan Sum to Ulaanbaatar, where four horses from Khustain Nuruu, which is also a national park, will be loaded and taken to Gobi B," Bobek said about a project he has planned for long.
He said last autumn he agreed with the Mongolian environment minister on that Mongolia will invest in the building of enclosures and catching of the horses.
In cooperation with the Czech military, the zoo has transported 19 Przewalski's horses from the Czech Republic to Mongolia. Seventeen of them are still alive, which is a "very good result," Bobek said.
One stallion died during transport in 2011 and one mare died last autumn when it got stuck in mud during torrential rains in Gobi B.
Twelve offspring of the transported horses live in the protected area.
"This means that we transported there 19 horses, but 29 horses from our transports live there," Bobek said.
A total of 500 Przewalski's horses live in three localities in Mongolia, including 130 in Gobi B, where the last four transports from Prague were headed. In the wild, the Przewalski's horse became extinct more than 40 years ago.
Bobek said the task and duty of the zoological gardens that are members of world and European associations is to participate in the protection of biodiversity.
"Prague has played a key role in the salvation of the Przewalski's horse from extinction. In 2011 [when the first horses were taken to Mongolia], we started something which no one else was capable of doing. It was thanks to our zeal and also to that we succeeded in enlisting the military and the defence ministry's support and that we can use the CASA aircraft," Bobek said.
Source:Czech News Agency (ČTK)