About the Somali Wild Ass
The Somali wild ass is an African wild ass subspecies currently restricted to parts of the Ethiopian desert and mountains of North East Eritrea. No doubt the best looking of all wild asses, with blue-grey coat, light-coloured belly and legs with distinctive black stripes. It is an extremely resilient breed, able to survive in harsh habitats feeding on thorny bushes and tough grasses. With limited access to water and food resources and increasingly hunted for food and medicinal beliefs, the species continues to face extremely high risk of extinction in the wild since its severe decline in the 70’s. With numbers estimated around 700-1000 wild individuals, urgent action is needed to save this species from disappearing completely.
The small herd of Somali wild ass can be seen on a temporary area in Zone 2 of the safari drive.
There are so few Somali wild ass remaining in the wild that they are at risk of becoming Extinct in the Wild.
They are hunted for their meat, skins and bones.
Somali wild ass are grazing animals but in their native home ranges where food can be scarce they will browse from other plants.
Somali wild ass are from North East Africa, Somalia, Ethiopia & Eritrea.
With so few remaining in the wild, Somali wild ass are at risk of becoming extinct in the wild.
The wild population is continuing to decrease and numbers are thought to be fewer than 1,000 individuals.