When a little wild donkey was born at Yotvata Hai Bar Animal Center back in August, his mother rejected him.
According to Sagit Horowitz, the spokesperson for Ramat Gan Safari Park, that is often what happens when there is something wrong at birth.
“The mother must have sensed there was a problem. She rejected him,” Horowitz said. “In nature, he would have had no right to survive.”
Thankfully, the little donkey’s caretakers at Yotvata Hai Bar saw that the infant was in distress and sent him to Ramat Gan Safari for care.
However, when he arrived at Ramat Gan, the wild donkey was clinging to life and was immediately transported to Hebrew University of Jerusalem veterinary school at Beit Dagan for evaluation.
There they found out the foal had a rare birth defect and without surgery had virtually no chance at survival.
Prior to birth, the developing infant had been able to eliminate his waste through his umbilical cord.
However, his urinary system had failed to properly develop on its own, meaning even after birth some of his urine was coming out of his naval.
After a lifesaving surgery to correct his deformity and remove his naval and one month recovery time at the veterinary hospital, the foal was healthy enough to begin his rehabilitation at Ramat Gan Safari.
Now named Adam — a reference to the fact that like the Biblical Adam he lacks a naval — the foal first met his biological sister, Bar, and was eventually introduced to the entire herd.
Adam won’t be staying a Ramat Gan for long though. Once he reaches sexual maturity, little Adam will be shipped off to meet his mate and become part of an important wild donkey breeding program.
According to Horowitz, currently only 500 wild donkeys exist in nature and another 160 live in zoos. That makes Adam, whose ability to reproduce was not impacted by the birth defect, an exceedingly rare little donkey and one who thanks to the expert care of Hebrew University of Jerusalem veterinary school and Ramat Gan Safari has a new lease on life.