The paper below focuses on the barriers to setting up a safari zoo in the UAE. The report seeks to identify how animal zoo may be effectively established and managed in the UAE. Through this, the study will identify the animals that are more likely to be comfortable in the zoo. Similarly, the study will highlight on how the zoo should be modified to ensure that the animals’ wellbeing and rights are upheld. As such, issues with respect to shortage of space, well-beings of animals, unpleasant smell, and the UAE’s weather will be identified.
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The research is worth studying because its findings will offer means of setting up a reputable safari zoo that meets the international conservancy regulations. In the gulf region, safari zoos are one of the best family destinations. They offer amusement and education opportunities in a natural out-of-door settings (Vine 12).
Through the study, it can be revealed whether the current animal zoos in the UAE are well managed considered that a number of challenges exist. Equally, through the study it will be known whether the current animal zoos in the country infringe on animals’ rights. Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that a comprehensive research on the subject should be carried out before setting up a new venture in the region. The findings obtained from this study may also be used in improving the management of the existing animal zoos. The research is divided into two parts. In the first part, barriers faced when establishing safari zoo are highlighted. The second part focuses on the means to address the barriers.
Barriers to sustainable development
According to Tuyl, a number of challenges have affected the people’s behaviour and decisions with respect to setting up safari zoos in the UAE (Tuyl 10). Space constraint is a major decision that should be considered before setting up an animal zoo in the UAE. In the last few decades, the country has witnessed rapid urbanization. Usually, zoos are set up in urban regions to serve the needs of the city dwellers (Tuyl 12). Therefore, in the country zoo investors have to face huge competition for space with real estate developers. In this regard, it will be expensive to acquire space in the region pushing up the cost of setting up the venture.
Tuyl notes that the issue of space constraints also implies that zoos in the region will experience clarity of view challenges (Tuyl 12). Unlike in the wild, animals in the zoos are kept in cages. As such, the cages are made of heavy metal bar and mesh to prevent the animals from escaping. Similarly, the cages are meant to protect the visitors from being attacked by the animals. The cages prevent the visitors from having a clear view of the animals.
Tuyl suggests that aanother issue that will be faced when setting up a zoo in the region is how to get rid of the unpleasant smell of the animal excreta (Tuyl 17). The zoos’ floors are made of concrete floors. After the animals have soiled the floors, zookeepers should clean the floors to keep germs, stench, and diseases at bay. Given that in the region, space is a vital issue cleaning would be an uphill task. Similarly, visitors’ hours will be interrupted for cleaning to be carried out.
Another challenge that will be faced while setting up the zoo is UAE’s hot weather conditions. Unlike in the tropics, where a number of the animals in the zoo will be sourced from, temperatures in the region are so high. The above imply that without proper ventilation and other cooling mechanisms the animals in the zoo would not survive. Therefore, before setting up the venture, the investor should ensure that proper ventilation and cooling mechanisms are installed. The cost of installing and managing such services is higher. Therefore, the cost of setting up a zoo in the region will be higher compared to doing so in tropical countries.
According to Vine, the above challenges were faced while setting up Dubai’s Safari Park (Vine 78). Due to space constraints, some animals have been forced to live in cages. Viewing and taking pictures of the animals in the cage has not been easy as clarity is obscured by the mesh. Owing to this, a number of visitors attest to the fact that their experience in the zoo was less thrilling compared to in wild parks and reserves.
Another challenge faced in Dubai’s Safari Park is stench smell (Vine 82). To reduce the stench smell, the zookeepers wash the animal cages twice in a day. Similarly, the zoo floors are divided into two. One part is made of concrete floor. The other part is made up of sand floors. The sand floors are changed frequently. As such, the cost of maintaining and cleaning such floors in EAE is higher compared to zoos in tropical countries that have natural floors.
An additional problem experienced in Dubai’s Safari Park is poor ventilation. Because the zoo is situated in an arid region, the temperatures in the zoo are very high (Vine 85). With limited space and high temperatures, the zoo experiences ventilation challenges. The issue has aggravated the unpleasant smell in the zoo. To reduce on the issue, the zookeepers use the disinfectants when washing the floors. Similarly, trees have been planted in the zoo to keep the temperatures down. Owing to this initiative, the temperatures in the zoo have reduced by two degrees compared to the external environment.
An additional issue experienced in Dubai’s Safari Park is how to meet the animals’ wellbeing. Because a number of animals are kept in enclosures, many have exhibited symptoms of boredom (Wibbelt 45). In the wild, the animals are supposed to roam freely. By enclosing them in cages, the animals are emotionally affected. Similarly, some animals in the zoo have become accustomed to the presence of human beings. Such animals feel bored in the absence of visitors.
Strategies to manage the identified barriers to make the initiative successful
To manage the above challenges, zoo investors in the UAE should solve space issues. As such, zoos should be located at the outskirts of cities. At the outskirts, competition from real estate investors will be limited. Therefore, the cost of acquiring land will be reduced freeing up the much-needed funds for the construction of other zoo facilities. Owing to the abundance of land at the outskirts, large animal enclosures can be constructed to allow the animals to roam freely in their enclosures (Hodge & Marie 34). With large enclosures, animals will not easily be bored compared to when they are enclosed in small cages. Equally, large enclosures will make it easy for zookeepers to carry out their cleaning exercise. Through this, the stench issue will be solved.
Correspondingly, my venture will be successful if I prioritize on the animals that will be best suited to the UAE’s environment. The animals I will chose are scimitar horned Oryx, Arabian Oryx, Arabian gazelle, lion, giraffes, chimpanzees, and tigers. I will keep the animals in cages. The above animals have been reared in UAE’s zoos. Based on this, there are higher chances that the animals will do well in my zoo.
When temperatures are high, the wildlife should be sprayed with cool water. Similarly, my zoo will be installed with efficient ventilators to ensure that the facility is kept at the right temperatures. In addition, my zookeepers should ensure that the animals have access to clean drinking water at all times. Through this, the animals’ rights and health will be upheld (Vine 16). Similarly, the above practice will ensure that the zoo investors save on the funds required to manage the animals’ health.
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Lastly, as a zoo investor I should invest in qualified and experienced zookeepers. With the right personnel, the above challenges will be addressed with ease. Qualified zookeepers will educate the public on how to handle and socialize with the animals reducing on cases of attacks by the animals (Vine 22). In addition, the zookeepers will ensure that the animals are fed appropriately and at the right time. If I adhere to the above strategies, I will be able to save on the cost of establishing my zoo in and ensure that the venture is effectively managed.
Hodge, Annelies, and Marie Turcotte. Organizational Change towards Sustainable Development: Learning from a Best-practice Zoo. London: Trident, 2009. Print.
Tuyl, Christine. Zoos and Animal Welfare. Detroit: Greenhaven, Thomson Gale, 2008. Print.
Vine, Peter. Natural Emirates: Wildlife and Environment of the United Arab Emirates. London: Trident, 2013. Print.
Wibbelt, Gudrun. Proceedings of the International Conference on Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals 2013, Vienna, Austria. Berlin: Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, 2013. Print.