Tibetan Wild Ass Family

Nearest Area
Ladakh, India
Leh, India

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark III, EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS, handheld


The Tibetan Wild Ass is found all across the Tibetan plateau. The western edge of its range extends up to Ladakh in northwestern India. Their Tibetan name, Kiang, is used in their scientific name as well - Equus kiang. They survive the arid high-altitude cold deserts by eating shrub and grass around the various saltwater and sweetwater lakes. During the summer months, they tend to gain up to a 45 kilograms in weight in preparation for the long, harsh winter. Summer is also the time for breeding. Young males can be seeing herding females into harems. The old males tend to females with foals.
In this picture the male, on the right, was grazing with two females and their foals at the saltwater lake Tso Kar. The lake is at an altitude of 4400 meters but there is a good amount of shrub and grass in its vicinity. All of them looked up at me when I approached them on foot. As I took the shot, the male snorted at me letting me know that I was invading his space. I slowly backed off to my car. The sun had just went down behind the mountains and started to get cold fast. Afternoon thunderstorms in the Tibetan plateau are legendary, and it is normal to experience 50kmph winds. However, this night was relatively calm.

Date Added
November 3, 2016