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Critically-endangered horse who was a ‘visitor and keeper favourite’ dies at Highland Wildlife Park

A horse has died at Highland Wildlife Park Image: RZSS.
A horse has died at Highland Wildlife Park Image: RZSS.

A horse who was a firm ‘visitor and keeper favourite’ has died at the Highland Wildlife Park.

Sara, 32, was the oldest Przewalski’s horse at the park. After experiencing age-related issues, the team decided it would be best to put her down to prevent suffering.

Przewalski’s horses are the last surviving subspecies of wild horse, and used to roam near the Mongolia-China border.

They are named after 19th Century Russian explorer N. M. Przewalski.

However, they are now critically endangered and now only kept in captivity.

According to National Geographic, the average lifespan for a Przewalski’s is 20 years in captivity.

‘A big character will be missed’

Keith Gilchrist, animal operations manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said: “We’re sad to share the loss of Sara, our oldest Przewalski’s horse.

“At 32 years old, she had been experiencing age-related health issues. Taking into account her quality of life and wellbeing, our veterinary team advised that Sara should be put to sleep to prevent future suffering.

“Sara had been with us for 18 years and was a firm keeper and visitor favourite. She was a big character at the park and will be missed by us all.”

The full herd at the park in December. Image: Sandy McCook.

Sara’s death was announced on social media, where visitors to the park shared their condolences.

Carol Kerr wrote on Twitter: “So sorry to hear this. We enjoyed spending time with her and the other animals in the drive round.”

Di Ryder commented: “Aww so sad to read this tweet.”

Sara is one of the many types of animals at the Highland Wildlife Park.

Since opening its doors in 1972, its attractions and conservation projects have drawn attention over five decades, including Royal visits.

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