3. Somali Wildass and Sandcat 2003

Somalia Wildass and Sandcat news
( June 2003)

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation has recently received 2,4 Somali Wildasses. 1,4 Asses are from Usti ( Czech), 1,0 from Tierpark Berlin (Germany).
The Usti group consists of 2 older mares with their offspring. The stallion from TP Berlin is fortunately not related to any of the females, so this combination might be a good basis for further breeding. Despite the big temperature difference the animals have adopted easily to the new conditions. When they left Europe the average temperature there was just about 5 ºC, during arrival in Qatar it was already 35 ºC !
Thank to the Long Acting Tranquilliser they had got two days before loading, they were very calm during the transport. Even the settling in went off without any problems.
Shortly before the animals arrived, the newly built holding facilities had been finished. 3 separate enclosures (7.000m² each) and a stable, with 10 boxes (4m x 4m each) had been build in the gravel and stony desert of Qatar. Due to artificial irrigation some tree-islands could be planted. Several shade roofs in the enclosures spend protection from the sun and to make it easier for the animals to endure the high summer temperatures, the stables are equipped with AC’s.

We hope that due to these almost natural Wildass conditions, the animals will start breeding successfully soon.Like the sandcats already do: 2003 proves to be a good year for sandcat (Felis margarita harrisoni) breeeding in Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation. All 4 female sandcats included in the AWWP breeding program have given birth to 3 kittens each. Fortunately all of them rear their litters themselves.

Since 1997 AWWP has been keeping sandcats, but a successful breeding has started first since the management of this species changed in 2000. In 2001 we have scored the first successful rearing of 4 kittens. Due to construction works and keeper change there was no offspring in 2002. Currently Al Wabra keeps 11,9 Felis margarita. All Sandcats included in the breeding program are wild caught in the sandy desert of Qatars South at the border to Saudi Arabia. Therefore it’s a remarkable success that all our females are raising their offspring themselves. It’s reported that sandcats, like other felids have a tendency to kill their offspring when disturbed.


Catrin Hammer
Curator of mammals
P.O. Box 44069 Al Wabra Doha, State of Qatar
Tel: +974 471 9024 Fax: +974 471 9026
Mobile: +974 584 4929
E-mail : awwp.mammal@alwabra.com

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