Asses live in desert or semi-desert areas, steppeland (grassy plains) and mountainous regions. They prefer hilly areas but will come down into the valleys to avoid dust and snow storms.



During the seventeenth century the range of the Asiatic wild ass stretched from the Yellow River of northern China in the east to the Black Sea in the west. Their numbers have been in a decline for centuries although their rate of decline has increased dramatically over the last fifty years. The animal has been prized as a source of excellent meat and it has been used for centuries for domestic and draft work. It was also, because of its speed and endurance, a prime target for hunters anxious to prove their skill with a bow, spear or, in more recent times, a gun. Parts of the animal are used for a wide variety of purposes - both medicinal and magical - and its hide has also been in great demand.

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