Prague, Czech Republic - Four mares of the Przewalski horse from the Prague zoo left for Mongolia, which is the country of the horse's origin, aboard a transport plane this morning as part of the project Return of Wild Horses.
Within the project in which the Czech army participates, 15 Przewalski horses have been transported to Mongolia since 2011.
The transport of the horses from the zoo to the airport was affected by strong heat that hit the Czech Republic this weekend.
Prague zoo director Miroslav Bobek said the heat complicated the transport but the horses could not be moved during the night because this would affect their biorhythm.
Another problem is a recent torrential rain that flooded some parts of the semidesert in western Mongolia, to which the mares would be transported after their landing in Bulgan, Mongolia, Bobek said.
He said 14 of the 15 horses transported from Prague to Mongolia have survived and they have given birth to eight foals so far. The horses are living in the Gobi B national park.
The Prague zoo is one of the main organisers of the transfers of the Przewalski horse, the last of which was shot dead in the wild 40 years ago, back to its original homeland.
The transfers from Western Europe started in the 1990s and over a hundred horses have returned to Mongolia since.
At present, about 1900 Przewalski horses live all over the world, including some 300 in two national parks in Mongolia.
The Prague zoo started breeding the Przewalski horse in 1932. It has kept the international pedigree book of this species since 1959.
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