Somalia wild ass

About This Project

Desert ass
Hardy and attractive, this wild ass is found only in the Horn of Africa, where it lives on desert plains and rough mountain terrain.

With only a few hundred individuals left in the wild, this species is critically endangered. Its numbers have been affected by hunting, competition with domestic livestock for food and water, and interbreeding with domesticated donkeys… There are fewer than 200 individuals in zoos (data from 2011), and so this species is being very carefully managed.

In our zoo, 4 mares live with the scimitar oryx, another animal adapted to life in the desert.

Species in the EEP
Latin name: Equus africanus somalicus
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Size: 1.25 – 1.45 m tall, 2 m long
Weight: 190 – 270 kg
Lifespan: 30 – 40 years
Gestation: 12 months
Number of young: 1
Habitat: desert / savannah
Diet: herbivorous
Distribution: Horn of Africa: from Eritrea to northern Somalia, probably extinct in Djibouti.
Conservation status: critically endangered