Monday, December 21, 2009

Not so Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort

Below you will find a story relating to the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort. I not knocking it. All zoos need all the positive press they can get but it is simply not true. Both White Headed Trigonoceps occipitalis and Lappet Faced Vultures Torgos tracheliotos were kept in the Al Ain Zoo when I worked there in the 70's and were still there in the 80's when I left. Not only that but three wild Lappet Faced vultures fed on carcases within the Lion enclosure along with many many hundreds of Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus . I believe I recollect over 900 on one day.

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Vultures on display for the first time at Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort

Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort has unveiled the latest additions to its already 4,300-strong animal family. For the first time since the zoo opened 40 years ago, visitors will be able to see rare vultures, which are now on display in the ‘birds of prey’ aviary.

The aviary, which also houses seven Steppe eagles and two Imperial eagles, will now be home to a White-headed vulture and two Lappet-faced vultures (pictured).

Both vultures are endemic to Africa and are considered vulnerable to extinction. The White-headed vulture is a medium-sized, chunky vulture. The bird’s most distinguishing feature is a crest of white, as well as a pinkish beak. The White-headed vulture is predominantly found in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Lappet-faced vulture is one of the largest and most powerful of all of the African vultures, possessing one of the strongest beaks. Like many vultures, it has a bald head; however, the pink coloration is a distinctive feature. As well as Africa, the Lappet-faced vulture can also be found in some Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Yemen.

Located near the reptile house, the ‘birds of prey’ aviary is currently one of the most popular exhibits at the park. AWPR has plans to expand on the species represented in the bird show, and is also looking at introducing demonstrations in the vulture aviary in the near future.

The Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort animal collection is evolving to best represent the desert species of the world. Recently, a

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