Wildlife imports bring safari park closer
The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) announced that it has imported 288 wildlife from South Africa into the emirate, bringing Sharjah’s vision closer to what could be the largest safari park project outside of Africa. Animals are cared for by experts at Seih Al Bardi Park (Elebriddi Wildlife Protection Area) and acclimatized in complexes, while trees are planted and the park’s infrastructure is under construction.
Located in Al Dhaid in the interior of the Emirate of Sharjah, the first phase of Seih Al Bardi Park was officially opened as a conservation area in 2007, as part of Sharjah’s efforts to protect natural ecosystems and the biodiversity. The landscape of Al Bardi is characterized by gravel plains with a high density of acacia trees, providing suitable habitat for different forms of wildlife and an ideal environment for many native and imported species.
Last year, EPAA received approval from the ruler of Sharjah to start the second phase of Seih Al Bardi park, which will see an area of 14 square kilometers (approximately 3,500 acres) developed into an animal safari park. The project will develop the area to create a sustainable tourist destination with a safari park that contributes to wildlife conservation efforts, accommodating up to 50,000 animals. The plan is also part of a comprehensive strategy to transform the Al Dhaid region into a tourist destination, while expanding Sharjah’s endangered wildlife breeding programs.
Among the 17 different African animal species that were imported for the Al Bardi Park project are 15 different species of antelope, 15 South African giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) and 5 rhinos (species not specified). According to the EPAA, Sharjah’s reputation and track record of conserving and breeding endangered species was instrumental in securing the necessary international approvals and cooperation for the expeditions.
Imported African antelope species include: 42 springboks (Antidorcas marsupialis), 36 impalas (Aepyceros melampus), 26 greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), 24 blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), 16 gems (Oryx gazelle), 12 common moose (Taurotragus oryx), 12 cob (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), 12 blesboks (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi), 10 lechwe (Kobus leche), 8 black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), 8 nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), 8 southern reed (Redunca arundinum), 8 red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama), 6 spring springs (Oreotragus oreotragus) and 4 common duikers (Sylvicapra grimmia).
Last year, the EPAA opened the new 12 square kilometers (3,000 acres) Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Center in the Hajjar Mountains to the public. Other wildlife reserves and centers open to the public include the Wasit Wetland Center in the city of Sharjah, the Kalba Bird of Prey Center near the emirate’s east coast, and Arabia’s Wildlife Center on the Al Dhaid route.
The opening date of Seih Al Bardi Park has not yet been announced.
Source: EPAA, media