Kiang Facts

Interesting kiang facts for everyone

The family Equidae embodies all the animals which are associated with horses. Equus kiang, popularly known as Tibetan wild ass, Gorkhar and Khyang, are presumed to be prodigious of the subgenus Asinus of family Equidae. The Equus kiang (Tibetan wild ass) is classified into three subspecies based on its size and environment. This species is found in the open terrain of Tibet, on the Indian border, and in Nepal and China. Kiangs play a crucial role in various accounts of travelers including Chris Lavers, Thubten Jigme Norbu, and Ekai Kawaguchi. Kiang equus is so closely related to Asiatic wild asses (Equus hemionus) that in some taxonomic divisions the kiang is treated as a subspecies of Asiatic wild asses (Equus hemionus).

To learn more fun facts about the kiang, keep reading this article. Please check out out other interesting articles about the zonkey and horse for more animal facts.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Grass and sedges

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Male: 770-880 lb (350-400 kg) Female: 550-660 lb (250-300 kg)

How long are they?

72-84 in (182-214 cm)

How tall are they?

52-56 in (132-142 cm)

What do they look like?

Chestnut brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Alpine grassland







Scientific Name

Equus kiang kiang Equus kiang holdereri Equus kiang polyodon





Kiang Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a kiang?

The Equus kiang, also called Khyang, is a species of ass that is further categorized into three subspecies which are the Equus kiang kiang or the western kiang, Equus kiang holdereri or the eastern Kiang, and Equus kiang polyodon or the southern kiang.

What class of animal does a kiang belong to?

Kiangs belong to the class Mammalia of order Perissodactyla and family Equidae.

How many kiang are there in the world?

Kiangs are distributed substantially on the Tibetan plateau. The total number of kiang present globally as estimated in 2008 is approximately 60,000 to 7,000, with their maximum population in the region of Tibet itself while a small proportion of almost 3000 kiangs resides in the bordering areas of Nepal and India, including the regions of Ladakh and Sikkim.

Where does a kiang live?

Kiangs are believed to be native to the Tibetan plateau as this species of wild ass is found in a large number in the Tibetan territory, particularly in the region between the Kunlun Mountains and the Himalayas. The western kiang is largely discovered in parts of Tibet and the southwestern region of Xinjiang and Ladakh. Eastern kiangs are found in the territories of Xinjiang as well as Qinghai, and the southern kiang is observed near the Nepalese border and in parts of south Tibet.

What is a kiang's habitat?

The Tibetan Plateau is an open terrain of alpine grassland at an elevation of 8,900-17,400 ft (2,700-5,300 m). The favorable habitat of this species includes valleys with dominant grass, sedges, and other vegetation with a cold climate.

Who do kiangs live with?

Wild asses create a community of a minimum of five to a maximum of 400 asses which is generally led by an aged female ass, but these assemblages are not permanent herds. Kiangs are preyed on by wolves which is why asses form groups as a defense mechanism. Kiangs are vulnerable when alone and if they are separated or drift away from their group, predators can attack a kiang very easily.

How long does a kiang live?

The average life span of a kiang is 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

A kiang is polygynous, and their breeding season starts in August and culminates in September. Once the species achieve their sexual maturity, a male surrounds a female and safeguards it from other males. During this time, a male exhibits aggressive behavior towards another male and they are frequently seen chasing females for mating. The process of reproduction is through copulation and the duration of gestation is approximately 300 days. The young ones are born between July and August and a female can deliver only one offspring at a time. The period of weaning may continue for a year but the baby can roam after one hour post delivery.

What is their conservation status?

The kiang is not under any threat and they are found in an ample amount. However, this species were hunted for their meat and coat which was processed to make leather. Also, their northern territory and habitat have been affected due to human activities but their conservation status is of the Least Concern as stated by IUCN in 2000.

Kiang Fun Facts

What do kiangs look like?

The Equus kiang is the biggest wild ass in the world and is found in Asia. The mass of a male can be slightly more than that of a female. The average weight of a male liang is approximately 770-880 lb (350-400 kg) while a female kiang is 550-660 lb (250-300 kg). The height of a kiang may range between 52-56 in (132-142 cm) and it has a body length of 72-84 in (182-214 cm). The height of their shoulder is 55.1 in (140 cm), and the length of the tail is about 12.5-17.7 in (32-45 cm). The kiang has three more subspecies and the biggest of this is the eastern kiang while the smallest is the southern kiang.

The coat of a kiang contradicts the seasons as their coat exhibits reddish-brown color in summer while it alters to dark brown, chestnut color in winter. During summer, their coat is thin and short while their winter coat is dense and long. Their short ears and tufted tail delivers a more horse-like appearance. The head of these animals is large and the muzzle is blunt with an out curved nose. Their legs, interior of ears, edge of the muzzle, and underparts are all white. The kiang has a short mane and a dark brown color dorsal stripe which stretches from its mane to the end of its tail.

The kiang demonstrates minor sexual dimorphism.

How cute are they?

The horse-like appearance of kiangs makes them completely cute, however, this opinion may vary form person to person. They look very similar to horses.

How do they communicate?

Kiangs are frequently observed forming groups to protect themselves against predators, but how they actually communicate with one another is not known.

How big is a kiang?

This species is the largest wild ass in the whole world and it is found in Asia. The height of a kiang is 52-56 in (132-142 cm) and it weighs approximately 880 lb (400 kg). When we compare a Indian wild ass which is nearly 440-574 lb (200-260 kg), we can comprehend how big a kiang is but the only species of ass that kiangs are closely related to is the Equus hemionus.

How fast can a kiang run?

The exact speed of a kiang is not listed but it is not as fast as an Equus hemionus.

How much does an kiang weigh?

A male kiang is slightly heavier than a female kiang. The weight of a male can range between 770-880 lb  (350-400 kg) and a female is around 550-660 lb (250-300 kg). Kiangs tend to gain weight from August to September because of the substantial amount vegetation in this season.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male kiang is known as jack and a female kiang is known as jennet.

What would you call a baby kiang?

Young ones are born almost after a year and a baby kiang is known as a foal. It can roam on its own an hour after its birth.

What do they eat?

The ideal habitat of a kiang provides them with the right of sustenance it requires. Their staple diet consists of grasses, hedges, and sedges. However habitat loss due to human interference is affecting their population, and so the conservation of their habitats is crucial.

Are they dangerous?

Kiangs are not dangerous animals, however, like with all wild animals, they enjoy being on their own in their habitat without any interruption. However, it may kick with its legs to defend itself from predators. Kiangs protect themselves by delivering violent kicks.

Would they make a good pet?

These wild asses not suitable to be kept as a pet.

Did you know...

Kiang can swim very well especially during summer. Herds are frequently seen indulging themselves in bathing near water bodies.

Herds of kiang are quite active in the night as they commonly feed at this hour.

The word 'kiang' refers to these wild asses. The name of this animal means 'Asian wild ass with a thick furry coat'.

What are other names for a kiang?

A kiang is also called a Tibetan wild ass, a Gorkhar, and a Khyang.

Where can you find kiangs in India?

Kiangs inhabit large parts of the Tibetan plateau and only a minor portion of this population can be found in the Indian provinces of Ladakh and Sikkim, which provide these animals with optimum vegetation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including pygmy hippopotamus, or leopard cat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our California state coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.