Zoo Celebrates Birth of Extremely Rare Przewalski’s Horse Foal Previously Extinct in the Wild

Research has come a long way, and achievements like the birth of a rare Przewalski’s horse are living proof of it. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park shared the news of the birth recently. There was a time when this species of horse was declared extinct. But in 1996, the status changed to critically endangered. Przewalski’s horse is also called the Last Wild Horse.

A Day of Celebration at the Zoo

After 2014, the foal’s birth is the first birth of a Przewalski’s horse at the Safari Park, and he is one of the only four who were born in North America since last year. The baby horse is a result of a statewide conservation initiative that ensures genetic variety across Przewalski’s horse populations. At the Zoo and Safari Park in California, more than 157 Przewalski horses have been born until now. The successful birth of the foal and every other horse of this species shows everyone’s dedication at the zoo to conserving the species. After being declared extinct for a long time, the Przewalski’s horses have survived for around 40 years now, and the most fascinating fact is that all those who are left are the descendants of 12 Przewalski’s horses that were born in their natural surroundings.

The First Successful Cloned Przewalski’s Horse

Kurt was born in 2020 to a surrogate mother and is the clone of a male Przewalski stallion. The living cell line of the male was preserved as part of the Wildlife Biodiversity Bank, approximately 43 years ago. Kurt was named after Kurt Benirschke, who was part of the research committee, and research director at the zoo for a while. Kurt was one of the first successfully cloned Przewalski’s horses. According to Nadine Lamberski, who is the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s chief conservation and wildlife health officer, successfully cloning Kurt is not only a huge achievement but also means there is still hope to bring back genetic diversity.

Extreme Weather Unleashes a Plague of Scorpions in Egyptian City

Extreme weather has brought about a terrifying phenomenon in an Egyptian city. In the wake of a major storm, the Aswan region of Egypt has recently witnessed a literal ‘plague of scorpions,’ leaving hundreds injured and 3 dead.

The Incident

According to the recent reports of Egyptian outlet Al-Ahram, torrential rainstorms and snowfall have ripped through the city of Aswan over the weekend. This extreme weather condition has unleashed a plague of scorpions over the city, by driving out swarms of scorpions from their hiding nests on the open roads and even in the houses. As a result, over 450 Aswan residents are reportedly hospitalized being stung, with three dead.

The Situation

Though the particular breed of the scorpions terrorizing the Aswan residents are still not officially identified, the general assumption is pointing out to the poisonous Egyptian fat-tailed scorpions. Their stings are widely considered as near-fatal. According to the BBC, the venom from a black fat-tailed scorpion can kill an adult within one hour. The stung victims are currently under treatment in a few local hospitals. The undersecretary for Aswan’s Health Ministry Ehab Hanafy assured that the government officials are keeping an eye out for the recent situation. Meanwhile, the locals are actively engaging in scorpion-hunting to save their own lives.

Upcoming Condition

Along with this fateful incident, the country of Egypt is currently undergoing even more storm-related fallouts. The roughly two-week-long heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms have left the major Egyptian hubs like Aswan and also Cairo, in a flooded and felled condition, with trees being uprooted and power lines being cut. According to an official ministry spokesperson, the highly destructive torrential rain was accompanied by a heavy storm with a speed of almost 100 km/hour. Unfortunately, such extreme weather is getting only more and more common due to global climate change, leaving the region of Egypt at a high risk of climate-related calamities.