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Photos: Three Foals Born to Wild Ass Herd
A young eastern king, or wild ass. The herd recently gave birth to three.
Credit: Alex Riddell

A herd of eastern kiang, or Tibetan wild asses, recently saw the births to three new foals in Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park. Though native to the Tibetan plateau, the kiang were brought to Scotland to be bred, and are the only members of the species in the British Isles.  

There are now 11 total wild asses in the park. Kiangs are a member of the horse family and are also the largest species of wild ass. A fully grown eastern kiang may grow to a height of 4.5 feet (142 centimeters) and weigh as much as 880 pounds (400 kilograms). Hours after being born, wild ass foals are capable of running.

The animal's attractive coat grows longer and woollier in the winter to help keep them warm in the chilling temperatures, which will come in useful for braving winters in the Scottish Highlands.

In the wild, the main task of male wild asses, besides siring foals, is to protect offspring from wolves. But there are no wolves in the park. So one of the youngster's fathers, named Kham-Bu, spends his time "play-wrestling with the adult male camel who also shares the large enclosure, along with the two female camels and seven yak," said Douglas Richardson, a manager with the Highland Wildlife Park, in a statement.

The three young eastern kiang and some adults.
The three young eastern kiang and some adults.
Credit: Alex Riddell

 

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