ST. LOUIS – There are lots to celebrate at the Saint Louis Zoo! The zoo welcomed one of its newest residents last month—a critically endangered Somali wild ass.
Tobias was born on July 30 to mother Tukia, who came to St. Louis from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2005. His father, Hirizi, was also born at the Saint Louis Zoo in 2013, according to a Saint Louis Zoo press release.
He can be seen with his mother and two adult females in their habitat at the Red Rocks area of the Zoo. There are currently only 68 Somali wild asses in North American zoos, with seven at the Saint Louis Zoo.
The Somali wild ass, a subspecies of the African wild ass, is a critically endangered member of the horse family. The fact that only four other zoos in North America have bred this species makes this little foal an important addition.
The birth of the new foal is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) species survival plan.
But Tobias isn’t the only new baby at the zoo. Gloria the Grevy’s zebra was getting a kick out of her extended family Tuesday afternoon.
Tim Thier, Acting Curator of the Antelope Area at the St. Louis Zoo, says, “Gloria was born just about the time the Blues won the Stanley Cup. She’s another endangered species the zoo has worked with here in North America. We do a lot of work in the horn of Africa and the Grevy`s zebra is our flagship species we focus on there.
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Let’s give a wild welcome to Tobias, a male Somali wild ass foal born on July 30 to mom Tukia and dad Hirizi! This critically endangered species is found in small numbers in desert areas of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. The Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa, in partnership with other conservation organizations, supports field research and conservation programs to study and preserve the rare African wild ass and its arid habitat. stlzoo.org/conservation/wildcare-institute #stlzoo #animalsalways