Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Khurs

 Khurs photo
Photo: © S. Ballal / Wikimedia Commons

 Khurs are wild horse cousins living free in India. They are pretty amazing! Check them out:

  1. Then and now: Thousands and thousands of khurs once roamed over much of northwestern India and present-day Pakistan. Now maybe 3,000 or so survive. They are found in one place in India. It's called the Little Rann of Kutch. (Rann means desert. Kutch is the local name for a district, which is sort of like a county.)
  2. Khur herds: Females live in herds with their foals. Grown herd members come and go pretty often. It's not a tight group.
  3. Male ways: Males live apart from the females. They defend their own territories and may mate with females that pass through their space.  Some males live in bachelor herds. These males practice fighting. They try from time to time to challenge males that hold nearby territories and become "king" of that area. 
  4. Tale of the tail: A khur's tail is not made up of lots of hair like most horse tails. Instead, it has only a tuft of hair at the end, like a zebra's.
  5. Manes and stripes: A khur's mane is stiffer than a horse's. And a khur has a stripe of dark hair down its back. Nobody is sure how the stripe "helps" the animal survive.  
  6. Good mom: In the heat of the day, a khur mother will stand so that the shade of her body falls on her newborn foal. When Mom rests, she often lets her baby climb and jump all over her. 
  7. Guiding baby: When her baby is about three months old, Mom nudges it toward grasses, bushes, and other plants that are safe to nibble. The foal will start to eat more plants at about six months of age as it stops nursing.

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