"Hustai National Park" Tov Aymag Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld
Tov Aymag Things to Do: 17 reviews and 50 photos
The history of Hustai National Park, about 100km south-west of Ulaanbaatar, starts with the extinction of the Mongolian Wild Horse, known as the Przewalski horse or Takhi horse in Mongolian. The species were first discovered by a Russian general and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky in the 19th century. The horses lived off the grass on the vast Mongolian steppes within this area. But the population declined dramatically in the 20th century for a number of reasons. First of all, the horse was wanted for its chloroplasts. In a chemical process, which is unique to the Przewalski horse, the animal produces certain chloroplasts in the back of their throat as a result of a chemical process after eating steppe grass. The very same chloroplasts were used as an anti-viral drug to conquer an outbreak of a disease in the early 20th century. Secondly, the horse was simply hunted for its meat. It was an easy target as it lived on the open steppes and was never used to be hunted (Przewalski horses had no natural enemies).
The last Przewalski horse was seen in 1967. A special expedition to track the animal in 1969 had no result. In order to bring the Mongolian Wild Horse back to its native land, the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse was founded in 1977. They used Przewalski horses from zoos all over Europe to start a special breeding program. In 1992, the foundation reintroduced the first 16 horses to the Mongolian steppes. The horses bred successfully and more of them were released in the years to follow.
I came here on the third day of my 12-day Mongolian tour and stayed overnight at a ger camp by the park’s entrance. After arriving, we had lunch and rested before driving into the park where we eventually spotted a two young male Przewalski horses coming down the hill from where they graze during the day.
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