A small Somali wild donkey has been due to be hand-reared at Chemnitz Zoo since July. The mother, the mare Mantana, died unexpectedly in early July, as the city announced on Friday. Because Poseidon was normally developed and healthy, he received breast milk replacement from a bottle. “He wouldn’t have been lucky without the committed commitment of the employees.” Poseidon has now gained ten kilos and also eats hay and grass. “Despite all efforts, there is still no guarantee that he will survive.”
The wild ancestors of domestic donkeys are among the most endangered animal species and have regularly provided offspring in Chemnitz since 2003. As only mother and child develop a relationship with each other, there has been no replacement by the mare Hera. She said she would tolerate the young wild ass in his presence. For security reasons, Father Da Vinci is temporarily separated from the group.
With the breeding of wild Somali donkeys, the Chemnitz Zoo participates in the European Endangered Species (EEP) program. According to reports, just over 200 animals currently live in 37 zoological facilities and a maximum of 200 adult animals in the natural range of Ethiopia and Eritrea – “an alarming number”.