Teens Spark Drama After Claiming to Possess a Rare Przewalski's Horse

This species of horse is considered critically endangered.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jun. 21 2024, Published 1:29 p.m. ET

Two teens are catching some flak on horse TikTok after they claimed to have rescued an ultra-rare horse known as the Przewalski's horse. They shared their exciting news on the social media platform, which quickly gained the attention of both fans and critics. For those unfamiliar, the Przewalski's horse these youngsters say they found is on the endangered species list and unlikely to have ended up in their care on happenstance.

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Keep reading as we break down the details surrounding the Przewalski's horse drama, including what this could mean for horse lovers everywhere if their story rings true.

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Is Przewalski's horse extinct?

Animal experts have been working to prevent the horse from going extinct through various managed breeding and care teams around the world. The Przewalski is believed to be the last wild horsethe EcoWatch explains that this is because the Przewalski is not descended from domesticated horses — and they have not existed in their native habitat of Kazakhstan in hundreds of years.

While they were once common in Asia and Europe, human interference, livestock competition, and even environmental changes led to them becoming extinct in the wild. These days, reintroduction projects are underway to help these rare horses return to the wilds where they once roamed free.

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These teens' claim that they found a Prezewalski's horse has TikTok up in arms.

In June 2024, TikToker kinsey_huckabay posted that they believed they'd come across a Przewalski while visiting a Kansas kill pen, where unwanted horses were being sent to be euthanized. The post drew immediate backlash, and the teens deleted and blocked anyone from making further comments on the posts, according to another TikToker, user @appalachian_angel, who has been following along with everything.

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Thankfully, this user was able to keep us all in the loop. She says that the pair of teens who say they have the stud (AKA: male horse) posted that they confirmed his breed using a DNA test. They also told followers that they had been in contact with "the zoo" to confirm that they could keep the horse instead of turning him over to wildlife experts, despite arguments from concerned followers who worry the teens aren't up to the task.

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The TikToker says there's no way a DNA test would've come back that quickly or with such conclusive information. What's more, @appalachian_angel believes that if the teens did indeed have one of the horses, authorities would be on their doorstep demanding to take the massive animal into custody so that they could use him to ensure the continued survival of the breed.

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As unusual as this situation is, the teens aren't the only ones who claim to have saved one of these rare horses. Another TikTok account claims they have rescued a mare (AKA: female horse) from a different kill pen. Unlike the teens, the rescuers at Lazy B Equine Rescue say that they haven't received the DNA results from their testing yet, revealing that it's something that could take weeks to come back.

The woman behind the @appalachian__angel account doesn't seem like she's buying either of these stories, and she suspects something else may be going on. According to her, a herd of Przewalski's horses was stolen not too long ago, and she thinks that these "found" horses could include some of the illegally trafficked animals.

How many Przewalski's horses are left in the world in 2024?

According to the Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, there are only about 1,900 of these horses left in the world. It's believed that each of those nearly 2,000 horses descended from 14 original horses, who werecaptured sometime between 1910 and 1960. Of course, that number will hopefully continue to climb as breeding programs like the ones working to return the horses to their native habitats continue to be successful.

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