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Lukung, Ladakh, India

(Equus kiang)

IUCN status : Least Concern

Kiang is a type of Asian wild ass. There are three subspecies of Kiang that inhabit Himalayan plateau. Kiang prefers life in open terrains, such as alpine meadows, steppe and valleys located at high altitude (13 000 - 23 000 ft). They are covered with brown coat. Lower side of the neck and body is white. These animals can be easily recognized since they have a dark brown line located centrally on their back. Kiang occasionally drinks water. More frequently, Kiang absorbs required moisture from the food (various grasses). This is adaptation to the life in dry habitats with scarce sources of water. It is known to scrape on soft mud as a territorial marking. It coexists with other ungulates and is even tolerant of wolves. But it flees rapidly if a Snow Leopard or human comes into view.

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