The Dallas Zoo is celebrating the birth of two brand new Wild Somali Asses.
Half-sisters Kalila and Naima were born just ten days apart, which is great news for the rare, and critically endangered species. Their father, Abai, was brought stateside in 2005 from Switzerland in order to bring a new bloodline of asses to the United States.
The zoo’s mammal curator, John Fried, said in a press release,”This is a big moment for our hoofstock team. Somali wild asses are critically endangered with less than 600 left in the wild. Only nine institutions in the U.S. care for this rare species, and to be able to welcome two babies is truly one of the highlights of my career.”
Somali wild asses come from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. Unfortunately, the population has been drastically reduced worldwide due to “competition with other livestock for limited land and water supplies, crossbreeding with domestic asses and the local traditions of hunting this unique species for food and medicine.”