Al Ain Zoo has successfully conducted an animal exchange with Al Areen Wildlife Park in Bahrain, as part of its commitment to improving genetic diversity.
The initiative comprised the exchange of endangered species, including Dama gazelle, Arabian oryx, Scimitar-horned oryx, Arabian sand cat, Arabian wolves, African turtles, elands, wildebeest and ponies.
The animals were exchanged over a period of four days following months of careful coordination, planning and monitoring by both organisations. Al Ain Zoo welcomed 17 animals from Al Areen Wildlife Park, and the Zoo in turn arranged for 34 animals to be transported to the Wildlife Park.
All the animals involved in the exchange underwent a series of medical checks and were issued accredited certifications, including special certificates for animals listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The animals were then placed under quarantine for approximately one month to ensure their safety and rule out any medical problems, or diseases. After successfully completing health checks, the animals will take their place in their new home.
A female Arabian sand cat that has already passed its health checks will soon be introduced to the existing group at Al Ain Zoo, which houses the largest population of captive Arabian sand cats in the world.
Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director General of the Zoo '&' Aquarium Public Institution in Al Ain, said, "Al Ain Zoo is home to internationally important conservation programmes, and has long been active in the field of wildlife preservation and conservation. In-breeding challenges arise when groups of animals live together for long periods of time, and such challenges must be appropriately managed to conserve these species. Al Ain Zoo's collaboration with Al Areen Wildlife Park falls directly in line with our commitment to protect critically endangered species, ensuring the individuals that we house are genetically compatible.