Wild horse

Image - Wild horses in the Askaniia-Nova Biosphere Reserve zoo. Image - Przewalski wild horse foal in the Askaniia-Nova Biosphere Reserve zoo.

Wild horse (Equus coballus; Ukrainian: тарпан; tarpan). An extinct predecessor of the domestic horse, measuring 107–136 cm at the shoulders. It was gray with a black mane, a black tail, and a black stripe down its back. Once wild horses were commonly found in the steppes and forest-steppes of Ukraine, but because of land cultivation and natural displacement they disappeared completely. The last specimen was caught in 1886 near the village of Novovorontsovka, Kherson gubernia. Some experts claim that tarpan and the Przewalski horse (which has been acclimatized in the Askaniia-Nova Biosphere Reserve) are of the same species. Tarpan horses were rederived in the 1930s by selection of primitive horses and are preserved in the Bilovezha Forest.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Image - Wild horses in the Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve.

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