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Eight Przewalski's gazelles born in NW China


14:39, July 26, 2013

XINING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Eight Przewalski's gazelles, an endangered species that is only found in northwest China's Qinghai Province, were born earlier this month.

The number of the newborn gazelles has hit a record high in the last decade, according to the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve.

The center now nurtures 34 gazelles, including the newborn members.

"The newborns are very healthy," said Wu Yonglin, head of the nature conservation department of the Qinghai Lake Administration.

The world's first artificial breeding test of Przewalski's gazelles was carried out in 2003 after the wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center was set up in the same year.

In addition to field rescue and artificial breeding, the center also creates detailed genealogical archives for each gazelle, which is important for gene preservation of the population.

"We plan to release a few gazelles into the wild when the number reaches 50," said Wu.

The animal with a short tail and long horns was called a "plateau ballet dancer" by Nikolai Przhevalsky, a Russian explorer who found a specimen and brought it back to St. Petersburg in 1875.

There are only about 1,000 Przewalski's gazelles living in areas around the Qinghai Lake. The animal, which is under top-level protection in China, was considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2008.

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