Apr. 1, 2017: The wild life in Mongolia

Photo of RRoy John explaining Przewalski's Horse

What do you see when you look at the horse shown here? It is rather stocky, isn’t it? Note its thick neck and large, blocky head. And how its mane stands up so stiffly. Domestic horses don’t have these features. This is a wild horse, the world’s only surviving wild horse species. Known as Przewalski’s Horse, it lives wild in Mongolia.

Our speaker, Roy John, had photographed this horse in the course of touring this still-wild land. His pictures showed the short grass of the Asian steppe running off to the horizon without a landmark in sight, let alone telephone poles or wires. We wondered how he could ever get close to the wildlife he had hoped to photograph. Yet he succeeded, and showed us a variety of birds, mammals, a lizard, and a huge grasshopper.

The people of Mongolia also came before Roy’s lens, and we were introduced to herders and their gers (yurts, in Russian) and riders — above all, riders. Herders on horseback, jockeys at the races, and children. He spoke of a little girl, maybe eight years old, who had spotted her brother coming over a distant hill and leapt onto one of the nearby horses and took off across the grassland to meet him. Roy rode a horse, too, to get into some of the special places.