Wild Ass Sanctuary is situated in the Rann of Kutch area of Gujarat. It was established in the year 1972 and falls under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1973. The sanctuary is also known as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary and covers an area of 4953 sq. km. Wild Ass Sanctuary is one of its kinds in India, as it provides shelter to the endangered Wild Ass sub species Khur (Equus hemionus khur), belonging to species Onager (Equus hemionus). These animals are the strongest animals in the world.
They can endure temperatures as high as 45 o C amidst the desert
without any shelter. They can also survive in drought and other adverse
conditions for a long time without any problem. Wild Ass is locally
known as 'Ghud Khar' and was once found in North-western India, West
Pakistan and South Iran. Today, the species can be seen only in the Rann
of Kutch of Gujarat. They belong to the family of the Horses, Zebras and
Donkeys. This has made the creature sturdy enough to run at the speed of
a horse. Its average speed is around 60 to 70 km per hour.
A mature ass weighs 230 kg and is attractive in appearance. It has a
shiny white body with light brown patches. It also has brown hair trail
in the centre. The species usually wander in herds in search of fodder
and sweet water. They rest in the hot afternoon and live on scrubby
grass. Their mating season lasts from August to October. This leads to
the birth of a single young one at a time. The normal life span of a
wild ass is 20 to 25 years.