The foal, which Prime Minister Petr Fiala baptized together with the director of the Prague Zoo, Miroslav Bobek, is the first young Převalský horse, which was born in the paddock built by the Prague Zoo at Dívče Hrady in Radlice. Photo by Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

This morning, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, christened the foal Převalský’s horse at Prague’s Maiden’s Castle. The moon mare got the name Barunka from him. Prime Minister Fiala is not only the godfather of the cub, but above all he patronizes the project of the return of these last wild horses to Kazakhstan, which is organized by the Prague Zoo.

“Rescuing Převalský’s horse has a huge tradition in the Czech Republic thanks to the Prague Zoo, which has always played a big role in it. I was personally present in Astana when Director Bobek signed the memorandum of cooperation between the Prague Zoo and the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology regarding the fact that we would participate in the spread of the Przewalski’s horse in the Central Asian region, specifically in Kazakhstan. Now I am happy that I can christen the first foal born at Dívče hrad, because in the future it is Barunka who will quite possibly head to the land of her ancestors, to the steppes of Kazakhstan,” said the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, at the christening ceremony.

The name Barunka, which was ceremoniously revealed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala together with Prague Zoo Director Miroslav Bobek and Deputy Mayor Hl. Jana Komrsková, City of Prague for the Environment, did not get the foal by accident. The Prime Minister recalled the symbolism of St. Barbora as the patron saint of children and also referred to Baroness Božena Němcová as a symbol of childhood and joy. Photo by Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

According to his words, he chose the name Barunka because it meets the annually changing criterion of the initial letter with which the names of all born foals begin – this year it is the letter “B” – and also because it is a nice Czech name, which has a number of names for the Czechs importance. In that context, the Prime Minister reminded the patron saint of children St. Barbora and the character of Baronka from Babička Božena Němcová, who, according to him, represents joy, childhood and happy adolescence.

On the occasion of the christening, the director of the Prague Zoo, Miroslav Bobek, recalled that the Prague Zoo was and is participating in the reintroduction of Převalský’s horses to Mongolia in a significant way. After all, thanks to this, he is the holder of the highest award of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums WAZA Conservation Award. “After the successful reintroduction to the west of Mongolia, we are preparing to expand our project to the east of the country. But even before that, the return of Převalský’s horses to Kazakhstan will take place. In this context, I would like to thank Prime Minister Fiala, because thanks to his support, it is very likely that we will transport the first ‘rollers’ there already next year,” the director of the Prague Zoo, Miroslav Bobek, outlined the prospects for the future.

People can see the month-old mare Barunka in the vast paddock at Dívče hrady, managed by the Prague Zoo, together with her five-year-old mother Khamiina and five other horses. Photo by Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

Meanwhile, a modern paddock and quarters for Převalský’s horses are being built in the Prague Zoo area near the upper station of the cable car. It should be open to the public next year. The exhibition will present them as iconic species of the Prague Zoo and other Mongolian fauna, e.g., manuals and steppe reptile species.