Bolinda

This little horse of a different color helped save her species from extinction.
  • 1960s
  • 1980s

Born on April 8, 1969, Bolinda was a pretty big deal for a little filly. She was the San Diego Zoo’s first Przewalski’s horse birth, and the first offspring of Bonnette and Roland. Extinct in the wild, the only hope for the survival of the Przewalski’s horse hinged on the success of breeding programs in facilities such as the Zoo and, eventually, the Wild Animal Park (now the Safari Park).

In February 1970, Bellina, the Zoo’s other Przewalski’s horse mare, welcomed a filly of her own, named Belaya. Fillies are named using the first two letters of the mother’s name, “providing a rapid check of the female parentage,” noted a 1969 issue of ZOONOOZ. Those two fillies, and their two sisters, would eventually move to the Park to help build the herd there.

By 1971, the San Diego herd would include 10 horses, which was at that time the second-largest group in protected care in the Western Hemisphere.

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