July 30, 2019, St. Louis, MO (USA): Staff at the St. Louis Zoo recently announced the birth of Tobias, a Somali wild ass born July 30. The critically endangered species are a member of the horse family, seven at the St. Louis Zoo including his mother, Tukia and father Hirizi. Tukia came from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2005 and Hirizi was born at the St. Louis Zoo in 2013.
The Somali wild ass is found in eastern Africa. In the wild they exist in small groups, hunted for food and medicine. In North America, five zoos have successful breeding programs bringing the combined population to 68 captive animals. Breeding programs are coordinated through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan that ensures zoos maintain genetically healthy populations of animals.
Visitors at the park can watch Tobias in the Red Rocks area of the zoo.