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Media News


Zoo Miami is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Somali Wild Ass that was born sometime around sunrise this morning.  The foal, the 9th born at Zoo Miami, and its mother, a mare named “Lisha,” are now on exhibit and the baby seems to be adapting well.  At nearly 23 years old, Lisha is the oldest Somali Wild Ass to ever give birth in North America!  A neonatal exam is planned in the next day or so to confirm the sex of the baby as well as getting its weight, collecting blood and inserting a transponder for identification.

Somali Wild Asses are among the world’s most critically endangered equids with less than 1,000 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 approximately 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 the highly endangered Somali Wild Ass in 2011 and is part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a carefully planned captive breeding program designed to maintain healthy populations of these extremely rare animals for generations to come. 

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