Al Ain Zoo are planning a regional zoo workshop to take place in early December 2012. Sadly this is by invitation only and restricted, apparently, to Government run public collections. It is a fact that these are not always the best organisations to bring on board, a mix of opinions and expertise tend to be a lot more constructive. Some of the private, closed to the public, animal collections are streets ahead of some of the regional government zoos in terms of understanding of conservation. Contributions by BIAZA and the AZA could only be of positive value.
In Zoo News Digest 22nd - 24th April 2011 (Zoo News 744) I quoted Sh Butti Bin Juma Al Maktoum who said
"There needs to be more coordination between the government and private collections in the region. There is simply not enough connectedness at the moment."
This from an interview in the excellent Wildlife Middle East News Vol 5 Issue 4
I for one am extremely pleased that the regional zoos are at last getting their act together. It is not the first time that such an attempt to bring the collections together and there was in the late 1970's strong links between Al Ain, Dubai, Al Areen, Kuwait and Oman as well as a number of private collections . Sadly this came to nothing as numbers of animals counted more than conservation.
Lets hope that this time that some inroads are made to cooperation, understanding and real conservation.