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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Animals on Sir Bani Yas – Into the Wild!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Animals on Sir Bani Yas – Into the Wild!

Found off the coast of Abu Dhabi is one of the most treasured nature reserves in the world which is home to an array of wildlife that you will not find elsewhere. Welcome to Sir Bani Yas Island.

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Species

Sir Bani Yas Island presents a wide range of wildlife that number in excess of 13,000. Upon touring the island one may be able to find out interesting facts relating to certain species such as the speed at which an ostrich can run as well as why two giraffes do not look alike. What makes the area even more enjoyable is the fact that its surrounding waters, too, hold an abundance of marine creatures and mammals that only add to the experience and its appeal. Catch a glimpse of the endangered Arabian Oryx which is one of the world's most popular species of Oryx followed by the Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal and the Northern Cheetah. In addition, the island is home to three species of gazelle, three species of deer, eight species of antelope, one hundred insect species and so much more. Many birds, a majority of them being migratory, are found to inhabit the island and its neighbouring islands.

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Arabian Wildlife Park

Stretching over 1400 hectares and covering a fraction over half of Sir Bani Yas, the Arabian Wildlife Park was envisioned as an environment that would assist in the breeding and conservation of its many inhabitants as well as serving as a place of refuge for animals to roam about freely, unhindered by the activities of man. From feared scavengers of the wild such as the Striped Hyena to the more graceful and laidback giraffes, the park consists of a rich array of wildlife complemented perfectly by an ever increasing number of plant life. Therefore those staying at any of the island's resorts such as the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts would do well to schedule a trip to the wildlife park during the duration of their stay.

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Breeding Programmes

The plans devised by the late Sheikh Zayed were to transform the island and make it more accessible for human settlement while paying careful attention towards ensuring that the species of wildlife were well taken care of. The breeding programmes have also ensured that the Arabian Oryx which was once threatened with extinction has been restored and initiatives are underway to release these animals back to the mainland. Furthermore the cheetahs which were originally bred in captivity have now been relocated to the wild and can be seen hunting for themselves as opposed to the earlier practice. In general it is established that through the breeding programmes carried out, many endangered species on the island enjoyed significant population growth. Though on Sir Bani Yas Island, activities to engage in are aplenty; boating excursions that are carried throughout the day are closely monitored and managed by local authorities so that the marine habitat around the island is safeguarded.