ABU DHABI// Work to protect the once-threatened Arabian oryx from extinction have been praised by conservationists.
The oryx is among the animals that are now thriving the Sir Bani Yas Isand nature reserve. It is home to one of the largest populations of the animal in the world, with a herd of around 500 free to roam the sanctuary.
It is just one of a number of species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction at the reserve, off the Abu Dhabi coast.
The last wild Arabian Oryx is believed to have been shot and killed in the Omani desert in 1972.
They were taken off the global list of endangered species in 2011 following international breeding programmes and are now classified as vulnerable.
To maintain balance in the Arabian Oryx population four cheetahs, which were also once indigenous to the region, were introduced to the island in 2008 and the first cheetah cubs were born in 2010.
The wildlife park is also home to non-indigenous animals like scimitar-horned oryx, the reticulated giraffe and blackbuck antelope.
All photos courtesy Karim Sahib / AFP Photo