Sunday, December 6, 2009

Four At Once

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Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation celebrates the birth of 4 Somali Wild Ass babies

Between the 15th and the 28th of October 2009, not less than four of the critically endangered Somali wild asses (Equus africanus somaliensis) were born at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation. The three little stallions and one mare, were sired by “Hector”, who arrived from Montpellier Zoo/France in April 2008, as part of an exchange within the European Endangered species breeding Program (EEP), where AWWP participates in.

Funnily, “Hector” was never seen mating with the mares - but proof that he successfully did so, is obvious. The four foals are frequently playing together on their favorite side - the rocky mountain within the wild asses’ spacious enclosure.

The Somali Wild Ass, regarded now as the most endangered Equid worldwide, has seen dramatic reduction over the last decade, of the wild population in their natural range – the Horn of Africa. This has been due to over-hunting, competition with livestock and habitat destruction. This last remaining ancestor of the modern donkey is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

The Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation received their Somali Wild Ass group, two stallions and four mares, from Europe in April 2003. To keep the animals in a suitable surrounding, four separate enclosures (2 x 12,000 m² and 2 x 6,000 m²) and a stable, with ten boxes (4 m x 4 m each) plus


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