Syrian Wild Ass
|Syrian Wild Ass|
|Syrian Wild Ass in London Zoo, 1872.|
|Species:|| E. hemionus|
|Subspecies:|| E. h. hemippus|
| Equus hemionus hemippus|
The Syrian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus hemippus) is an extinct subspecies of Equus hemionus that ranged across Syria, Jordan and Iraq.
The Syrian Wild Ass was the smallest form of Equidae and could not be domesticated. Its coloring changed with the seasons – a tawny olive coat for the summer months and pale sandy yellow for the winter.
It is believed this is the animal described as the “wild ass” in several books of the Old Testament, including Job, Psalms, Sirach and Jeremiah. European travelers in the Middle East during the 15th and 16th centuries reporting seeing large herds.  However, its numbers began to drop precipitously during the 18th and 19th century due to overhunting, and its existence was further imperiled by the regional upheaval of World War I. The last known wild specimen was fatally shot in 1927 at the Al Ghams oasis near Lake Azraq in Jordan, and the last captive specimen died the same year at the Vienna Zoo.
- ↑ Samuel Sidney (1893). The Book of the Horse. Cassell & Co. Ltd.. p. 180. http://books.google.com/books?id=xAjOAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA180&dq=syrian+wild+ass&ei=Me4GS5CGLZWczgSiu4naDw#v=onepage&q=syrian%20wild%20ass&f=false.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Peter Maas. "Equus hemionus hemippus". The Extinction Website. http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/syrianwildass.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- ↑ Mazin B. Qumsiyeh (1996). Mammals of the Holy Land. Texas Tech University Press. p. 191. ISBN 089672364X. http://books.google.com/books?id=Amr2oLxnR10C&pg=PA191&dq=syrian+wild+ass&ei=Me4GS5CGLZWczgSiu4naDw#v=onepage&q=syrian%20wild%20ass&f=false.
- ↑ G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry (2003). Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume 12. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 73. ISBN 080282336X. http://books.google.com/books?id=LW8XieaBETIC&pg=PA73&dq=syrian+wild+ass&ei=Me4GS5CGLZWczgSiu4naDw#v=onepage&q=syrian%20wild%20ass&f=false.
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