19. Somali Wildass Breeding 2007


Breeding success of the Somali Wild Ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP)

Catrin Hammer, Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar

 WA_mare_foal_2 WA_mare_with_foal
Wildass mare with foal

The successful breeding of the Somali Wild Asses (Equus africanus somaliensis) at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation continues!

After the birth of AWWP’s first Wild Ass offspring “Ahiya” in 2004, followed by the tragic loss of breeding stallion “Somalo” in the same year and the birth of two more foals, “Arun” and “Asmara” in summer 2006, the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation proudly announces another birth of this critically endangered species.

On 04 June 2007, 12 year old mare “Mona” gave birth to a strong and healthy, 28 kg male foal, named “Ansari”. It’s Mona’s 5th offspring, her second born at AWWP.

“Ansari’s” birth took place in the early morning in the outside exhibit with the presence of the entire herd, except stallion “Edmond”. AWWP generally does not separate mother and offspring from the rest of the herd – the enclosure is large enough to give them room to avoid the group if wanted. Due to AWWP’s experience, aggression from the stallion towards the females, particularly towards mothers and offspring, are much higher when he is kept away for a longer period. Therefore stallion “Edmond” has been rejoined with the group already one day after the birth.

This birth has raised AWWP’s total stock of Somali Wild Asses to nine. There are  three more births expected within this year. Receiving new bloodlines soon is essential as the stallion is unfortunately genetically closely related to the mares.


The Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation received their Somali Wild Ass group, two stallions and four mares, via a dealer, in April 2003. Five of them are from Usti (Czech Republic), one from Tierpark Berlin (Germany).

To keep the animals in a suitable surrounding, four separate enclosures (2 x 12,000 m² and 2 x 6,000 m²) and a stable, with ten boxes (4 m x 4 m each) plus storeroom were built in the gravel and stony desert of Qatar prior their arrival.


The Somali Wild Ass is nowadays the most endangered Equid worldwide. Due to over-hunting, competition with livestock, interbreeding with feral asses and habitat destruction, the population in their natural range, the Horn of Africa, has been dramatically reduced within the last decades. They are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

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