Przewalski’s horses returned successfully to western and central Mongolia. The prepared project will focus at the east of the country. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo employees in cooperation with their Mongolian colleagues and partners have completed selection of the locality for the planned reintroduction of Przewalski’s horses to the east of Mongolia. After a long-lasting process, which included remote sensing methods as well as many visits to the selected localities and research into their botanical, zoological and parasitological characteristics, they chose the Valley of Monasteries (Sumiin khooloi). The area of 1,700 km2 lays mostly inside Numrug Strictly Protected Area (SPA).

The map shows the Valley of Monasteries (Sumiin khooloi) – the locality selected for reintroduction of Przewalski’s horses to the east of Mongolia. Source: Prague Zoo

“We became convinced that the Valley of Monasteries with its wide surroundings is the right locality,” the Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said. “There is a rich grass vegetation, the valley has a suitable terrain profile, it is not significantly infested by ticks and the nearest herders travel tens of kilometres away. We could not find a better locality.”

The Valley of Monasteries should be the fourth area in Mongolia after Great Gobi SPA, Hustai National Park and Khomin Tal, where Przewalski’s horse would return. But it is the only one at the east of the country. After selection of the locality, the project Dornin Takhi (Wild Horse to the East) enters the implementation phase.

The Valley of Monasteries with the winding Hook River (Degee River). Przewalski’s horses could inhabit this area at the east of Mongolia as early as in 2026. Photo: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo

“We prepare everything in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and other relevant authorities,” says O. Ganbaatar, the Executive Director of NGO We Help Them to Survive Mongolia, which will implement the project together with Prague Zoo. “The interest in Mongolia is exceptionally high.”

After completing all the formalities, the project works will begin, preceding the construction of the base and acclimatisation enclosures at the confluence of the Hook River (Degee River) and Southern Monastery Stream (Uvur sumiin gorkhi). At the same time, further scientific research will continue in the area of interest. The first Przewalski’s horses from Europe and current Mongolia localities could be transported to the Valley of Monasteries in the summer of 2026.

Organizations participating on the project Dornin Takhi:

  • We Help Them to Survive Mongolia NGO,
  • National University of Mongolia,
  • Mongolian Society of Mammalogy,
  • Mongolian University of Life Sciences,
  • Institute of Veterinary Medicine,
  • Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography, Faculty of Science, Charles University,
  • Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University.

You can support the project in particular by the donation of any amount to the collection account We Help Them to Survive (IBAN: CZ24 0100 0000 4368 0466 0247, SWIFT: KOMBCZPPXXX). Another option is by buying souvenirs at the e-shop of Prague Zoo at the section called We Help Them to Survive:, or by sending any amount via touch screens located in the zoo area. And last but not least, of course, by visiting the Prague Zoo.

The employees of Prague Zoo together with their Mongolian colleagues during final January exploration of the Valley of Monasteries (Sumiin khooloi). Photo David Rauch, Prague Zoo