Critically endangered Somali wild ass foals born in Chile

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A zoo in Chile has welcomed the birth of two Somali wild ass foals in recent weeks in a welcome boost for the critically endangered species.

Lucrecia and Ita were born earlier this month at Buin Zoo in the Greater Santiago region of Chile.

There are estimated to be fewer than 700 Somali wild asses in the wild. The critically endangered species hails from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia on the eastern Horn of Africa.

The species is hunted by humans for food, and also faces competition from livestock. In both Eritrea and Ethiopia, research and conservation programs have been critical for sustaining African wild ass populations by involving local sheep and cattle farmers in their conservation.

The legs of the Somali wild ass are striped, resembling those of its relative, the zebra.

 

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