URUMQI, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-one foals of the rare Przewalski's horses have been born in the wild in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since this spring, conservationists have said, pointing to a steady recovery of the species that once went extinct in China.
The Przewalski's horse, named after its Russian discoverer, is an endangered species native to the desert grassland of Central Asia. It is considered the only wild horse in existence today.
The 21 foals were born in the Kalamaili Nature Reserve, the main habitat of the wild horses in northern Xinjiang's Junggar Basin, bringing up its wild population in the autonomous region to 217, according to the Qiaomuxibai wild release station in the reserve.
Three and four more foals are expected to be born this year, said Bulan, director of the station.
The latest data from the Xinjiang Wild Horse Breeding and Research Center said the horse population in Xinjiang and neighboring Gansu Province, its only two habitats in China, has exceeded 500.
Once extinct in China due to hunting and a deteriorating environment, the horses were reintroduced to the country in the 1980s from Europe and raised in Xinjiang and Gansu. There are around 2,000 Przewalski's horses in total worldwide.
The Xinjiang breeding center is the largest wild horse breeding base in Asia.