Miami-Dade County

Miami has a new wild ass, and here's how you can meet him

Zoo Miami celebrated Father's Day with the birth of a 46-pound Somali Wild Ass. The breed is critically endangered with less than 1,000 asses remaining in the wild.
Zoo Miami celebrated Father's Day with the birth of a 46-pound Somali Wild Ass. The breed is critically endangered with less than 1,000 asses remaining in the wild.

Zoo Miami enjoyed a memorable Father's Day with the birth of a baby boy — a 46-pound Somali Wild Ass.

Ron Magill, the zoo's communication director, says the "adorable" baby foal is the result of a "very intentional" breeding between two adult asses, Hakim and Stella.

"We've been very lucky with the Somalis," he says, because the zoo has been able to locate "compatible animals that 'get along.'" This foal is the eighth wild ass conceived at Zoo Miami since 2011 when the zoo first began exhibiting the breed.

"We're ecstatic when things go according to plan," Magill said.

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Zookeepers greet the wild ass. Zoo communications director Ron Magill says it will take a few weeks for the zoo to figure out a name for the foal. Zoo Miami

Fewer than 1,000 asses remain in the wild, the majority in isolated pockets of Eastern Africa, according to the zoo. This population is critically endangered, hunted for food and forced to compete with farm animals for desert grass.

The closest wild relative of the domestic donkey, asses can grow to be 500 pounds. Their striped legs can carry them as fast as 30 miles per hour.

Magill says it will take a few weeks for the zoo to figure out a name for the baby foal as he adapts into the now five-donkey herd.

The baby ass is already on exhibit at the zoo, 12400 SW 152nd St.

Zoo Miami’s two female chimpanzees, Samantha and Bubbles, underwent several procedures by specialists who treat humans and animals on March 22. Both chimps are considered “very old” at 48 and 51 as the latter exceeds normal life expectancy.

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