© Foto Mossad Sultan
For the Protection of the Last Wild Ass
It is said that only 50 more Nubian wild ass live in the Gebel Elba National Park the South of Egypt. The survival of the species faces great risk. For that reason the Academy is dedicated to fight for their protection. In 2016, it has undertaken one first step towards the implementation of this plan.
And so Prof. Dr. Henning Wiesner and Dr. Julia Gräfin Maltzan travelled to Egypt in October in order to give lectures on wildlife immobilisation and zoo biology. Additionally, they provided a special practical course for the blowpipe technique as part of a symposium at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia. Prof. Dr. Atef Mohamed Kamel, Head of Wildlife & Zoo Medicine, had invited them and during their mission in the Cairo Zoo the year prior had asked for assistance with the wild ass.
Following the symposium, the Academy approached the Egyptian Ministry of Environment in order to discuss further action in the Gebel Elba National Park with regards to the protection of wild ass.
In the planning are drillings for additional water holes, observing the animals with camera traps, collecting their faeces for genetic examination in order to determine the exact number of individuals and possibly demarcate them from hybrids. Possibly, wild ass will also receive their own breeding centre. Julia Maltzan and Henning Wiesner could not visit the Park themselves, however – for security reasons the planned trip there had been cancelled at short notice. The Academy continues to liaise with the Ministry of Environment and is committed to further promoting the Project in 2017. ■