The web site www.chinaview.cn is reporting that three herdsmen from an ethnic Kazak group have been hired to assist the Xinjiang Przewalski’s Horses Propagation Research Center in tracing and monitoring horses that are released into the wild.
The three recruits were selected from more than 200 herdsman by a six-member international team who are in Kamaray, northern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, preparing to release more captive-bred, endangered Przewalski’s horses into the wild.
The three Kazak herders learned how to use GPS when searching for the horses in the wilderness.
The breed has existed for 60 million years and is the world’s only true surviving wild horse species. They were first revealed to the world in 1879 when Russian explorer Nikolay Przewalski discovered them in Xinjiang.
A German party captured 52 horses in 1890 and transported them back to Hamburg, but only 28 survived the journey. The thousand or so Przewalski’s horses in the world, including those in Xinjiang, are said to be the offspring of those survivors and all were bred in captivity, through preservation programs at zoos.
Not far from the wild region where the captive-bred Przewalskis were released is a territory where more than 5000 domesticated horses have become ill recently with Equine Influenza (EI). Hopefully the horses will not be affected by the illness. Wouldn’t you love to have been at the tryouts for the job?