This video is one of the four part series On The Brink: Preserving Endangered Species.
Relentless poaching early last century saw the oldest horse species in the world die out in their original habitat. But thanks to a breeding program in China, 27 Przewalski’s horses have returned to their homeland where their ancestors roamed - the vast 18,000 square kilometer Kala Maili prairie in West China.
Accustomed to an easy life within the enclosures, back in the wild and hostile northern region, the herd faces extreme winter snows and summer droughts. Wild Horses – Return to China is the story of the herd’s struggle for survival during their first year back in the wild.
Ten-year-old stallion Wind Chaser leads the herd of 9 mares, 11 colts and 6 foals on their first journey into this new and unfamiliar world. With him is the mare Black Pearl, who is carrying his foal. Her fate, and that of the foal, depends on if Wind Chaser can keep leadership of the herd through the first brutal months of independence as younger stallions begin to challenge the older horse.
The herd is released, but they are reluctant to travel far from their enclosure and always return at the end of the day. When winter arrives the temperature drops to minus 38 degrees and snow covers the sparse pasture – survival is their ultimate test.
Set in the stunningly beautiful and stark landscape of west China, the film reveals the secret life of these wild horses, how they adjust to the harsh wilderness and reclaim the long lost territories of their ancestors. The main members of the herd became in integral characters in the story as the life and death struggles of Wind Chaser, Flame and, most poignantly, Black Pearl are both heartbreaking and uplifting in this extraordinary drama of nature.
Reviews and Festivals"Recommended. The film captures the dedication of Chinese scientists and their efforts to re-introduce a once wild species back into the wild, and the hardships faced by the horses as they follow their instincts on their journey towards freedom. This video provides a rare glimpse into the lives of these horses, their biology and social behavior."
-Educational Media Reviews Online
"Recommended. It shows the work of very caring scientists and also gives insight into the sociology of these animals. It is very well done, depicting the problems involved with returning any animals that have been cared for by humans to the wild. It would be enjoyable and educational for almost all ages..."
– Science Books & Films (AAAS)
Natural History New Zealand is one of the world's leading producers of nature and science programming. The Video Project is proud to announce our partnership with NHNZ to distribute selected programs.