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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Zoo Miami welcomes Somali Wild Ass foal


The new Somali Wild Ass foal

A Florida zoo is celebrating the birth of a Somali Wild Ass, which is a critically endangered species.

The foal was born at Zoo Miami on Thursday last week.

The foal and her mother, a 14-year-old named Lisha, were introduced to the public this week and the baby seems to be adapting and integrating well into the small herd, the zoo said.

A neonatal exam was scheduled for this week, when veterinary staff hoped to get their first close look at the new arrival.

Initial observations indicate that the baby is a female.

Somali Wild Asses are the world’s most critically endangered asses, with fewer than 1000 believed to still exist in the wild.

It is the last remaining ancestor of the modern donkey.

They are the smallest of the wild equids and are found in the rocky deserts in very isolated areas of Eastern Africa.

Adults weigh about 500 pounds and mares give birth to usually a single foal after a gestation of 11 months.

They are characterized by their smooth gray coat and their striped legs which are indicative of their close relation to zebras.

Zoo Miami began exhibiting them in 2011.

All the adult animals are on loan from the San Diego Wild Animal Park and arrived at the zoo as part of a carefully planned captive breeding program designed to maintain healthy populations of these extremely rare animals for generations to come.

Source: Horse Talk

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