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Rare Persian onagers conceived through artificial insemination are born at Ohio conservation center

August 2, 2010 | 10:08 pm

Persian Onager mother and foal

Researchers say two exotic horse-like animals born recently at an eastern Ohio wildlife conservation center are the first ever produced through artificial insemination.

The rare Persian onagers (AH'-nuh-gurz) were born in late June and early July at a 10,000-acre conservation facility called the Wilds. A statement released Monday says the foals were the result of a two-year study of the species involving experts from the Wilds and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.

Project leader Mandi Vick says the work will help save endangered relatives of the horse including onagers, which look like donkeys and sometimes are known as Asian wild asses. Experts say fewer than 700 onagers remain in their habitat in Iran.

RELATED CONSERVATION NEWS:
Your morning adorable: Critically endangered Amur leopard cub is born in Germany
Five new Mexican gray wolf pups at St. Louis facility represent new hope for their species

-- Associated Press

Photo: A female Persian onager stands with her foal at the Wilds facility in Ohio on July 1. Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium / Associated Press

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