17 October 2013

After thirteen months and more than 10,000 kilometres, Werribee Open Range Zoo is now home to two authentic Mongolian Gers.

The gers which are traditional portable homes, are a wonderful addition to our Przewalski Horse exhibit, revealing the close relationship between people and wildlife.

Przewalski Horses once ranged across parts of Europe and central Asia, but by the 1960s were on the brink of extinction due to hunting and loss of habitat. Since then there have been dedicated efforts to breed and reintroduce animals into the wild. 

Przewalski Horses and gers are very important in Mongolian culture with nearly half of the Mongolian population still living in gers. The gers at Werribee Open Range Zoo were handcrafted using wood, felt, cotton, horse and/or camel hair and canvas and travelled all the way from the capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bataar to the Melbourne docks.

The traditional gers are adorned in the traditional ornamental patterns that are the primary decoration in a ger. These patterns are painted onto the door and wooden frame using mainly orange – the colour of joy, energy and warmth.

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