The Somali wild ass is a subspecies of wild asses of Africa found in Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. Somali wild asses are closely related to the Nubian wild asses. However, they are critically endangered owing to poaching and encroachment. There are less than 1,000 Somali wild asses left in the wild.
Fun Facts About Somali Wild Ass
Somali wild asses are native to the rocky desert of eastern Africa and live in semi-arid grasslands and bushes and hilly deserts.
Somali wild asses are herbivores. They feed on desert plants, shrubs, and grasses.
Somali wild asses typically live in solitude because of the food scarcity n their environments. However, small groups will occasionally form when food and water are more plentiful. They commonly begin breeding around two years old. As a result, they may not mate until their fourth year of life. Likewise, their female counterparts start breeding at two years of age.
The gestation period of a Somali wild ass is between 376 and 390 days. After pregnancy, the female Somali wild ass gives birth to a foal in the spring. Despite being able to have a foul every year, female Somali asses tend to only reproduce once in two years.
Other Fascinating Facts About Somali Wild Asses
- Somali wild asses are the last remaining ancestors of the modern-day donkey.
- Somali wild asses are gray and white, having black striped legs and narrow hooves. Their black stripes link them to zebras, their relatives in the Equidae family.
- Somali wild asses can run up to 30 mph.
- They have sharp vision and excellent hearing skills.
- Somali wild asses are the smallest of all wild equids (zebras. horses, and asses).
- The male Somali wild ass is called a “stallion” or “jack.” while the female Somali wild ass is called a “mare” or “jenny.”
- Even though Somali wild asses are the smallest of all wild equids, they do not weigh that much. An adult Somali wild ass can weigh up to 605 pounds (275 kg). Their height is between 4.2 and 5.5 feet (1.3 and 1.7 m) in length at the shoulder. They are about 6.6 feet (2 m) long.
- Somali wild asses communicate through sounds and postures. They often growl and grunt, expressing aggression. Somali wild asses also whuffle to inform other herd members of their location. They also snort to raise an alarm when they suspect danger is approaching.
- Currently, less than 1,000 Somali wild asses are left in the wild. Therefore, crucial conservation efforts are needed to protect Somali wild asses and their habitat