African wild ass Facts

African wild ass Facts
African wild ass is the smallest member of the horse family. There are two subspecies of African wild ass: Nubian and Somali wild ass. They live in eastern Africa: in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. African wild ass inhabits rocky terrains and dry and desert areas. Both subspecies of African wild ass are listed as critically endangered with only few hundred animals remaining in the wild. Majority of African wild asses were collected from the wild and domesticated. Other factors which decrease number of remaining African wild asses are habitat loss and competition for food with domestic cattle. Africans hunt these animals because of their meat. Also, indigenous people use parts of their body in traditional medicine.
Interesting African wild ass Facts:
African wild ass can reach 51 to 59 inches of height at the shoulder, 6.6 feet in length and 440 to 510 pounds of weight.
African wild ass is covered with gray fur on the back and whitish fur on the underside of the body. Legs of Somali wild ass are covered with black bands. Both subspecies have dark stripe that stretches from head to tail.
African wild ass has big head with narrow muzzle and long, motile ears. Erect mane is located on the neck.
African wild ass has excellent sense of hearing. Ears also facilitate cooling of the animal by radiating the excess heat.
African wild ass is active at dusk and dawn. It rests during the hottest part of the day.
African wild ass is grazer. It eats different types of grass, herbs, bark and leaves.
African wild ass can survive without water couple of days because it can absorb water from the food.
African wild ass can survive loss of 30% of body water. This loss can be compensated in just 5 minutes when the water source is detected.
African wild ass can achieve speed of 43 miles per hour.
African wild asses are loud animals that can be heard 1.9 miles away. Males are especially loud during the mating season.
African wild ass is territorial animal. It occupies territory of 9 square miles and uses piles of dung to mark it. Males often tolerate intruders as long as they are not trying to mate with the nearby females.
African will ass can live solitary life or be part of a group composed of up to 50 members. Mature males often gather in larger herds near the sources of water where females can be often seen.
Females mate once every two year and give birth to a single baby after pregnancy of 12 months.
One of the major threats to survival of genetically pure African wild asses is interbreeding with domestic donkeys. Produced offspring is a hybrid of domestic and wild donkey.
African wild ass can survive up to 40 years in captivity.

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