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      Somali wild ass born at Saint Louis Zoo

      The Saint Louis Zoo has seven of the 27 Somali wild asses in North America. Only one other zoo in North America has bred the species. / From www.stlzoo.org

      The Saint Louis Zoo has a new baby, an African wild ass that is extremely rare in zoos and the wild.

      The female foal was born April 10. It was a first for mother Fataki, the sire Abai, and the Saint Louis Zoo.

      The Somali wild ass is a critically endangered wild member of the horse family. The zoo says fewer than 1,000 exist in desert areas of northeastern Africa.

      The Saint Louis Zoo has seven of the 27 Somali wild asses in North America. Only one other zoo in North America has bred the species.

      Fataki arrived in 2005 from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Abai was born at the Basel Zoo in Switzerland in 2003.

      Hunting, along with fewer grazing grounds and water resources, have placed the animals at risk of extinction.

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