Also known as the onager, or Equus hemonius onager, but wildass is way better.

One of the five subspecies of Asian wild ass (teehee), it formerly ranged widely across southern Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan. Today it exists only in Iran and in limited areas of the former Soviet Union.

A small, slender animal, it stands about 4 ft high at the shoulder. Weighs from 500 to 700 lbs. Its back and legs are rusty brown and its belly white. It has a black tail tuft, a short, stiff black mane, and a brown or black spinal stripe lined with white on either side.

For many centuries it was hunted for sport by the Persian nobility, and young onagers were captured for the breeding of riding animals. Owing to the swiftness and endurance of the onager, relatively few animals were captured by "traditional methods," whatever that means (bow and arrow?). However, since guns and cars, the animals have been extensively slaughtered for their flesh and hides. They survive in Russia only on the Badkhys reserve and are greatly reduced in numbers elsewhere. Human encroachment into their remaining habitats and competition with livestock for rangeland are the most severe threats to onagers today. The continued existence of the race is in doubt.

Phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Perissodactyla, family Equidae, dig it.

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