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Population of endangered Przewalski's horses in Xinjiang increases

A Przewalski's horse is seen at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Nov. 25, 2020. (Photo by Zhang Hefan/Xinhua)

URUMQI, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- The number of Przewalski's horses in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region had grown to 487 by the end of 2020, according to the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center. The Przewalski's horse is believed to be the only wild horse species in existence today. It is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species and is under first-class national protection.

Przewalski's horses are seen at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 9, 2021. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

Przewalski's horses seek for food at the Kalamaili Nature Reserve, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Zhang Hefan/Xinhua)

A Przewalski's horse is seen at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 11, 2021. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

Once extinct in China due to excessive poaching and environmental degradation, the Przewalski's horses were reintroduced to the country from Britain, Germany and the United States starting in the mid-1980s, and were raised in Xinjiang and Gansu Province.

A vet checks Przewalski's horses' excretion for parasite examination at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 2, 2020. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

Staff member Zhang Hefan is seen with a Przewalski's horse at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 10, 2021. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

Staff members prepare watermelons for the Przewalski's horses at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 10, 2021. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

In 2000, the population of this rare horse in Xinjiang increased to nearly 100, and some of them had been released to a nature reserve since 2001. "Over the past 20 years, 16 batches of the rare horses have been released into the wild in Xinjiang. A total of 110 wild horses have returned to the wilderness and their population had increased to 274 by the end of last year," said Yang Jianming, director of the research center.

A Przewalski's horse is seen at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 4, 2021. (Photo by Zhang Hefan/Xinhua)

Przewalski's horses fight with each other at the Kalamaili Nature Reserve, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 9, 2019. (Photo by Zhang Hefan/Xinhua)

A Przewalski's horse is seen at the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center in Jimsar County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sept. 21, 2018. (Photo by Zhang Hefan/Xinhua)