Al Ain : Al Ain Zoo has been a leading institution in preserving, breeding and providing the best care possible for endangered species for over 50 years, and has made many achievements in the field of wildlife preservation, housing over 4,000 animals.
The Zoo has made outstanding contributions to breeding and multiplying numbers of Arabian Oryx and Sand Cats, with 287 Arabian Oryx and 36 Sand Catsin 2015 homed within the Zoo’s spacious enclosures. The Zoo also conducts extensive research into migrating birds and rare butterfly species among other endangered species in order to identify the best ways to breed them, understand more about them biologically, and recognize their habitat needs.
In addition, the Zoo has taken part in formulating the species conservation strategy for the African Dama Gazelle (2019-2028), to reduce the risk of its extinction after it featured on the IUCN red list as an extremely endangered species, in collaboration with multiple regional and international animal preservation organizations. The Zoo now houses about 180 Dama Gazelles from two different species, the Addra and the Mhorr.
The Zoo is also determined to contribute to preserving the local and wild plants of the region and rare plant species in general in an effort to maintain the health of the ecosystem, and now has a seed bank containing over 40 types of different seeds harvested from the plants within the Zoo, most notably the Nannorrhops (dwarf palm tree), one of the most endangered local species and one which the Zoo has been able to save and multiply even though it is a slow-growing plant that takes several months to germinate.
The Zoo’s interest is not solely focused on the research and preservation activities, but also concentrates on educating the general public on the importance of wildlife, biodiversity and nature conservation through many awareness-raising activities and events, such as student camps, international events, media appearances and academic, educational and informative productions specially designed to inform the community about the importance of wildlife and nature preservation.
In these ways, and many more, Al Ain Zoo is achieving its mandate of maintaining its position as a major influence on the care, protection and preservation of threatened species of flora and fauna.