Al Ain Zoo constantly works to apply its principles of wildlife conservation by providing specialized care, proper nutrition and health care to all the animals in its care, and as such is taking all possible steps to conserve the Rhinoceroses, which are an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The Zoo accomplishes this through diligently following the best international global breeding practices, as well as raising awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation.
Al Ain Zoo is home to a group of 11 rhinos, 5 males and 6 females and has dedicated a number of animal exhibits zones specifically for them, providing an integrated care regimen in an environment that matches their natural habitat as far as possible, as well as fulfilling nutritional and behavioral needs. The Zoo provides all of its animals with a comprehensive health care system through its specialized vets and animal caregivers, which for the rhinos has helped stimulate natural breeding patterns and doubled their numbers in the Zoo over the past years.
The Zoo provides many rhino-based recreational, educational and engagement experiences at two different zones within the Zoo, the African Habitat and Al Ain Safari, which is the largest man-made safari. These two experiences allow rhinos to be witnessed interacting with a variety of other African animal species.
It was in 2008 that Al Ain Zoo first welcomed 5 Southern White Rhinos, which, due to the Zoo’s continued efforts to provide all necessary requirements for the management, veterinary and nutritional care, and equipping of exhibit facilities, has now grown to a family of 11 males and females.
In a sign of its dedication to animal welfare and conservation, the Zoo gave the name “Sudan” to one of the rhino offspring, named after the last surviving male northern rhino which is extinct in the wild. Although it does not belong to the exact same species, the Zoo wanted the story of Sudan, who sadly died in 2018, to stay alive in the minds of people who care about nature and wildlife, and to raise awareness about the importance of exerting every possible effort to conserve nature and wildlife.
In addition to caring for its family of rhinos, Al Ain Zoo is supporting the protection and conservation of wild black and white rhinos through its partnership with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya. Al Ain Zoo’s support helps Lewa to track each individual rhino to protect them from illegal poachers, monitor their health and carry out important research. As an key role of modern zoos, this is one of several commitments the zoo has made to conserving endangered species in the wild, in addition to educating zoo visitors about these amazing and beautiful creatures.