San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Are Open!

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Somali Wild Ass

Somali Wild Ass

Wild members of the horse family (horses, zebras, and wild asses) have long held a strong fascination for humans. The Somali wild ass is the only ass with striped legs. Its small, narrow hooves help it move through its stony habitat. This surefooted design led to the domestication of Somali wild asses by the Egyptians more than 6,000 years ago!

All wild asses have bristly upright manes like their zebra relatives. The Somali wild asses have a soft gray body, white belly, and spiky black-and-gray mane. Unique black-and-white stripes on their legs hint of their family connections! Their short, smooth coat has a purplish hue. They are native to the desert regions of eastern Africa.

The Safari Park has more Somali wild asses than any other zoo in North America. Their exhibit features rugged terrain and boulders. Come admire our herd during an Africa Tram tour.

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