MNN Galleries

11 odd ways we protect endangered species

By: Laura Moss on July 14, 2016, 1:18 p.m.
Minnesota, Przewalski's horse

Photo: Ann Batdorf/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3 of 13

Reverse vasectomy

The Przewalski’s horse, a species native to China and Mongolia, was declared extinct in the wild in 1970. In 1999, Minnesota (pictured), a Przewalski’s horse at Smithsonian National Zoo was given a vasectomy so he could be kept with female horses without reproducing.

However, biologists later realized that Minnesota’s genes were valuable to the genetic diversity of his species, which descends from just 14 wild animals, so in June 2008, Minnesota went back under the knife for a reverse vasectomy.