Herds of wild Arabian oryx were once a
common sight in the UAE, but are now officially categorised as
an endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
With its almost white, horse-like body, and two long straight
horns, which appear to merge as one in profile, the Arabian oryx
easily conjures up images of the legendary unicorn.
Fortunately, captive breeding of this magnificent animal has been
very successful, and the UAE is in the forefront of international
efforts to increase herd numbers with a view to releasing animals
back into the wild.
In May 2000, 20 Arabian oryx arrived at Dubai International Airport,
destined for the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife
and Arabias Wildlife Centre in Sharjah. These animals came
from the Shaumari Nature Reserve in Jordan, and were a generous
gift from the Jordanian Royal Society for Environment Protection
to the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah. BP
Amoco Sharjah covered the considerable transport costs involved
in the careful re-location of the animals in a large enclosed
area of desert.
Another notable herd of Arabian oryx is to be found on Sir Bani
Yas, the beautiful island sanctuary off the coast of the Emirate
of Abu Dhabi belonging to UAE President, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan
Al Nahyan, whose personal interest in conservation and the natural
environment has done much to further the protection of Arabian
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ARABIAN WILDLIFE - CLICK
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ORYX' ROLE IN
MANS HISTORY IN THE UAE - CLICK