Equine sarcoids (ES) were diagnosed in 12 Somali wild asses (SWA) (Equus africanus somaliensis) from 10 different institutions of the SWA European Endangered Species Programme from 1976 to 2019. Samples of surgically excised masses, biopsies, or necropsy samples were submitted for histologic and virologic analysis. In addition, tissue samples from one onager (Equus hemionus onager), one kulan (Equus hemionus kulan), and two Hartmann's mountain zebras (HMZ) (Equus zebra hartmannae) were examined. Histology confirmed the diagnosis of ES exhibiting the typical microscopic features. Polymerase chain reaction detected bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV1) DNA in eight SWA samples and bovine papillomavirus type 2 (BPV2) DNA in one SWA sample. The onager, kulan, and one HMZ sample tested positive for BPV1. The other HMZ tested positive for BPV1 and BPV2. This is the first report of ES in an onager. Surgical excision was the treatment elected by most veterinarians. A follow-up survey of the cases over several years after clinical diagnosis and therapy revealed variable individual outcome with ES recurrence in four cases. Three SWA and the kulan were euthanized due to the severity of the lesions. Nine affected SWA were males with seven having a sarcoid located at the prepuce. Because a genetic disposition is a risk factor for the development of ES in horses, this may also be true for endangered wild equids with few founder animals in their studbook history. Innovative approaches regarding therapy and prevention of ES in wild equids are therefore highly encouraged.
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