I had a great suggestion for an animal waiting for me inside my Wild Facts inbox yesterday afternoon. Do you know which animal was suggested? Well, you could probably take a pretty good guess if you read the title or looked at the amazing picture of the Kiang. Now, do you know what a Kiang is? Sure, it looks like a little horse and it is in the same family but the Kiang is a wild ass (please try not to giggle too much when your read this). Actually, they are the largest member of the wild ass (again….with the giggling) family and is native to the Tibetan Plateau.
The Largest Wild Ass on Earth
Being the largest of all the wild asses – actually, I would like to challenge this as I think my brother may be to take this title….just kidding, buddy – you may want to know just how big the Kiang really is. Well, this beautiful specimen can reach a height of 1.4 meters (4.7 feet) at their shoulders and weighs up to 400 kg (880 lbs). Actually, it is only the males that weigh this much while their female counterparts weigh substantially less at 300 kg (660 lbs). Regardless the gender, this is one big asiatic animal.
A Watered Down Meal
Like most other members of the Equestrian “race”, the Kiang is a big fan of vegetation and as such is classed as a herbivore, commonly feeding on grasses and sedges. Interestingly enough, they get most of their water content from their diet, which is a good thing as water can be quite rare in the Tibetan Plateau. I guess this is one of the added perks of being a vegetarian…you never have to worry about drinking your 8 glasses of water every day.
Just for Kicks
While out on the plateau looking for tasty grasses, the Kiang needs to be on the lookout for two main predators, humans and wolves. They don’t have much a defence tactic for dealing with humans but they have evolved a somewhat successful strategy for those pesky wolves. Whenever a predator is in the area, the herd will form a circle, put their heads down and begin kicking violently making life very difficult for the hungry wolf. It is for this reason that this crafty carnivore will usually try to pick off a solitary animal that has strayed a little too far from the group. After all, who wants to get kicked by the largest wild ass in the world?