AL AIN : As part of its efforts to protect its unique animal groups, Al Ain Zoo is extending the benefits of its conservation programs to the Nile lechwe in order to protect it from extinction, as its population in the wild has decreased by 50% in the last 15 years, according to the IUCN Red List. The Nile lechwe is usually found in Southern Sudan, Western Ethiopia, and in shallow waters 10 to 40 centimeters deep.
The zoo began its relationship with the Nile lechwe in 2019 after introducing 10 of them to the Al Ain Safari, the largest manmade safari in the world. This initiative marked the zoo’s protection program in the context of an environment that matches the lechwe’s natural habitat.
The international and local community do not view the Nile lechwe as a high-profile antelope the way they do many other antelopes, such as gazelles. Therefore, Al Ain Zoo is keen to draw attention to this animal, create an environment in which it can reproduce, and protect it from extinction as a result of overhunting and urban sprawl.
Al Ain Zoo is home to a diverse group of wild animals from different environments around the world, and many of these species are endangered, as they live in fragile environments facing multiple factors that threaten their survival. The zoo is committed to raising environmental awareness in the community and has periodically launched educational campaigns targeting different ages groups and highlighting the importance conserving endangered animals.