Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi took a tour of Sharjah Safari to check the facilities and learn about the huge park’s expansion plans.
The Ruler of Sharjah watched from a wooden viewing platform on Wednesday as a herd of elephants from the African savannah rested on the sandy banks of a deep pool of water.
In a video Sheikh Dr Sultan can be seen engaging with officials providing updates as a few elephants break away from the pack to cool off in the water.
The officials briefed Sheikh Dr Sultan about a project to add rare and endangered species that would ensure their protection and increase awareness about animals on the brink of extinction.
A presentation provided details about the safari’s breeding programme for species populations around the world that are dwindling.
Officials explained the number of elephants added to the herd, how they were fed and how they have adapted to the desert environment.
The park first opened to the public in February this year and reopened in September after a short summer break.
The sprawling wildlife attraction is spread over an area four times the size of Monaco and aims to replicate a real African safari.
Home to more than 1,000 animals and birds and 120 species, including the rare black rhinoceros, the Sharjah Safari is the largest outside Africa.
The 800-hectare park is located in the Al Bridi Nature Reserve in Al Dhaid. It is separated into 12 themed zones with the terrain to match different regions in Africa.
More than 1,000 African and local trees have been planted across the site.
The park is part of Sheikh Dr Sultan’s vision to build a tourist and family attraction that preserves rich biodiversity and protects animals.
At the park, which is open daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm, visitors can see giraffes, lions and gazelles.
A decree issued by Sheikh Dr Sultan bans any activity that damages the ecosystem and causes harm to wildlife in the area.