Posts Tagged ‘Wild Horses’

First Successful Reverse Vasectomy On Endangered Species Performed At The National Zoo

June 19, 2008

Veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo performed the first successful reverse vasectomy on a Przewalski’s horse (E. ferus przewalskii; E. caballus przewalskii—classification debated), pronounced zshah-VAL-skeez. Przewalksi’s horses are a horse species native to China and Mongolia that was declared extinct in the wild in 1970.

Currently, there are approximately 1500 of these animals maintained at zoological institutions throughout the world and in several small reintroduced populations in Asia. This is the first procedure of its kind to be performed on an endangered equid species.

The genes of Minnesota—the horse who underwent the surgery—are extremely valuable to the captive population of the species, which scientists manage through carefully planned pairings to ensure the most genetically diverse population possible. The horse was vasectomized in 1999 at a previous institution so that he could be kept with female horses without reproducing. He came to the National Zoo in 2006.

Click here for the full article.

Alabama trainers mold mustangs into cherished pets

June 11, 2008

The marvelous-looking mustangs collect together near the far end of the pen at the sound of the gate swinging open.

Wess Ehret slowly walks toward them, calling out with a calming voice. The horses gather even closer to each other, trying to avoid him as much as possible.

Eventually, Ehret’s patience pays off. He coaxes Colorado his way. That’s the name of one of the friendlier mustangs. Ehret balls his hand into a fist and lets the horse smell it.

Soon, Colorado is convinced Ehret is not a predator, and allows him to pet him.

“This one likes to be pals,” Ehret said.

One by one, the mustangs are warming to trainers Ehret and Katrina Robbins these days.

Their ultimate goal is for the mustangs to become so familiar with people that they will be adoptable, and it seems that goal is on its way to being reached.

The Central Heights couple is among trainers across the nation selected by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the Wild Horse and Burro Management Program. The effort is designed to help control overpopulation of wild mustangs.

Click here for the full article.