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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Animals you will run in to at Sir Bani Yas Island – Animals in their Habitat
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5 Animals you will run in to at Sir Bani Yas Island – Animals in their Habitat

A tiny natural island that boasts of much diversity in terms of topological features and fauna lies off the coast of Jebel Dhanna in Abu Dhabi. It is a well-loved tourist attraction and is never short of visitors.



Though you never really paid much attention before, you would be guided to understand that giraffes have very unique spots and no two are alike. This isn't all that you will discover while you reside at a resort in Abu Dhabi, you also learn that there are about nine different types of giraffes in existence. You will see them tower over all the other animals and reach out to the branches at the tips of trees and nibble the tops of shoots that have sprouted upwards. The species of giraffes seen in Yas Island are those found in North Eastern Africa as they are more resilient to the desert climate.


Gazelles and Deer

Light in weight and light-skinned; gazelles are hoofed animals that have adapted to the local conditions and manage with very little water intake. Much of the water that is within their body is extracted from the food they eat, and the occasional dew drops that they lick. Gazelles are admired for their beautiful shapes and delicate appearance. Their distant but equally quiet cousin, the deer are also found on Yas Island. There are a few different species of deer including those found in Sri Lanka and those found in Europe.



If you stay at the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, you can wake up to a new type of honking; the honking of grey-crowned cranes who hail from Africa. It is their long slender necks that are grey while their crown is an earthy brown. Flamingos, rheas and emus who are usually seen in the States and Australia have also made themselves quite content within the enclaves of this island. They have figured out new ways of continuing their livelihood in warm conditions and move towards the mangroves for their water requirements.



The African Gemsbok has a striking face with a sharp combination of black and sandy coloured skin. It is almost as if it has been adorned with a natural attire to set it apart from the other oryxes. The Arabian Oryx and the Beisa Oryx also dwell in the forest of Yas Island and the most apparent feature among them all is their spear-shaped set of horns that stand well over a foot above their heads.


Small Mammals

The hare endemic to the United Arab Emirates, known as the 'Arabian Hare' is a complete desert creature with the ability to retain its body's water levels from the bits of grass and shrubs that it devours. They are cute but not as small as a typical rabbit and at the same time, they are not as large as European hares. The Ethiopian Hedgehog who has a peculiar lifestyle throughout the year is seen after dusk at Yas Island, but if you visit between December and February it would be in hibernation.