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Chile welcomes new African Wild Ass calf

Essien, the young Somali wild ass which was born on November 16, 2007, lingers in the enclosure next to its mother Yogala in the zoo in Basel, Switzerland, Dec 12, 2007   -  
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A calf of the nearly extinct African Wild Ass was presented to the Chilean public on Thursday, 17 days after being born.

African Wild Asses are in the category of "Critically Endangered" species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The latest calf was born in Buin Zoo in Chile, part of an international programme designed to avoid the extinction of this African species.

"June 19 Juniana was born, who comes to make up this family and is a tremendous contribution to a seriously decimated species of nature. This specimen will start a family very soon, as soon as we are in Mexico, where we have the possibility of multiplying a wonderful wild species that practically there are no remaining specimens", said Dr. Ignacio Idalsoaga, Veterinarian and director of the Buin zoo.

The body of the African Wild Ass is very similar to that of any donkey, but it has white and striped legs like those of a zebra, despite not being a hybrid between the two species.

The organisation estimates that there are between 23 and 200 adult specimens in the wild.

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