MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited a natural reserve that houses rare wild horses.
Putin, on a visit Monday to the Orenburg region in the southern Ural Mountains, led the Przewalski’s horses from a fenced enclosure into the steppe.
The reserve serves as a breeding ground for the rare horse, which has become nearly extinct in the wild in Russia. It currently houses a small team of horses from France in order to reintroduce them into their natural habitat.
The Russian action-man president has relished appearing with animals in stage-managed media events. Putin has petted a polar bear, ridden a horse bare-chested, flown a motorized hang glider with cranes and shot a tiger with a tranquilizer gun to tag it with GPS collar.