Some 200 kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Abu Dhabi city, 14 Arabian Oryx have been given another chance at life in the wild.
Once on the verge of extinction, the species will now be able to roam one of the largest sand deserts in the world--the Empty Quarter--and guests at the Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara will have the opportunity to appreciate and learn about the Arabian Peninsula's most iconic species in its natural habitat.
The Oryx were released into the Qasr Al Sarab Protected Area, as part of the long-running Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Arabian Oryx Reintroduction Programme, led by the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency in the presence of Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi's Environmental Agency.
The Arabian Oryx is said to have inspired the legend of the unicorn, however, the battle that the Oryx has waged against extinction is legend itself. The animal had long been a coveted trophy for hunters until it eventually became extinct in the wild. However, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a keen environmentalist, initiated a captive breeding programme to ensure the survival of this species in the 1960s.
On this occasion, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said "Under the directives and continued support of the country's visionary leadership, the UAE has succeeded in transforming ecologically distinctive areas into internationally recognised protected ones. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has 6 marine and 13 terrestrial sites, making up 13% and 15.4% of the Emirate's area respectively...