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September 27, 2004
The Indian Wild Ass is a species of mammal closely related to the family Equidae, or horse family. Previously, the Indian Wild Ass was found throughout southern Pakistan, western India, south-eastern Iran and Afghanistan. Now critically endangered, the remaining population inhabits the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, located in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. As numbers increase, individuals are slowly colonizing into neighboring areas. These animals occupy a variety of environments including grasslands, shrublands and saline deserts. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males being larger than females. Adults weigh between 441 and 639 lbs. (200 to 290 kg) and measure between 6.9 and 8.2 feet (2.1 to 2.5 m) in length. Mating takes place during the rainy seasons, lasting for several months. Males compete with one another for access to mares. Stallions either live alone or form groups with others. Family herds are significantly larger. Their diets consist of fruit, grasses, leaves and other types of vegetation.