Remember the ass on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem?
It was Palm Sunday, or that’s what Christians call it now. Christians celebrate Palm Sunday, and whenever they get the chance they visit all the places where Jesus is reputed to have visited during his life.
Unfortunately, Christians haven’t been as Christian when it comes to remembering the ass on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem. That ass was a Syrian onager, which was hunted for sport by the Persian nobility for many centuries. Young onagers were captured and bred for riding animals. What you probably didn’t learn from your good reverend on Palm Sunday is the Syrian onager of Jesus fame is now extinct. It was hunted to death for meat.
Don’t think the Jews did it. They don’t hunt down such animals for food. Such food isn’t Kosher. In the wild, in some places where the Syrian onager used to live, now the Persian onager lives, and it too is seriously endangered.
If you want to find writings predating Jesus about such animals, check out Jeremiah 2:24, where he speaks of the “wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind in her desire…”