Birth of Wild Ass Celebrated - Gansbaai Daily News

Adding to the growing numbers of endangered species this year, two new arrivals are celebrated for the month of July. The efforts and pooled resources of breeding programmes are really paying off this year, and we are so thankful.

Firstly we celebrate the birth of a Somali Wild Ass at the Marwell Zoo. Born on the 9th of July, the wild as foal is doing really well according to Ian Goodwin, Collction Manager of Hoofstock. Somali Wild Ass are critically endangered and can presently only found in the harsh and remote deserts of Eritrea, northern Ethiopia and Somalia.

Somali Wild Ass have been listed as critically endangered since 1996 the birth of the foal is a vital addition to the EEP (European Endangered Species Program). The number of Somali Wild Ass in the wild are estimated at a mere 280.

The next little bundle of feathery joy is an endangered Northern Spotted Owl born at the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in Langley, Virginia. The male owlet is the result of an experiment done by the Ministry of Environment and Mountain View in which they removed eggs from different breeding females and placed them in an incubator. The experiment came about after no births of the protected owls after two years.

The incubation will be expanded next year to help with the hatching of the eggs. A wonderful idea, taking into account that only 13 individuals are in captivity at Mountain View and another 10 can be found in the wild in southwestern British Columbia.

The news of new additions to endangered species is always welcomed and we hope that the numbers continue to grow.

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