UAE donates houbara to Paris zoo

Eight of the desert birds have been donated to a French zoo as part of a new display about the wildlife from the deserts of Arabia.

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ABU DHABI //The UAE has donated eight Houbara bustards to a Paris zoo that will become part of a display about wildlife from the deserts of Arabia.

The have been delivered to the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, after a successful captive breeding programme.

It was part of a joint initiative between the French museum and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), which as produced more than 160,000 Houbara bustards since it was founded in the 1970s.

The Houbara will form part of an exhibit called the Aviaries of Constantine.

“The Houbara has been an important element in the lives of the local residents for thousands of years,” said Majid Al Mansouri, chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs and board member of IFHC.

“They are as much a part of our heritage as the falcon and the oryx. Thanks to the good will of HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Chairman of IFHC, thousands of visitors from around the world to this prestigious zoo will now get the opportunity to witness the wonder of the Houbara for themselves,” he said.

Students often visit the zoo and it is hoped the new display will provide a unique experience for pupils.

“Education is an important element of the work of IFHC, both locally and internationally,” said Mohamed Saleh Al Baidani, Director General of IFHC.

“Making people aware of the problems facing species, such as the Houbara, is just as vital as the breeding and release programme we have pioneered. Conservation is a long-term process and educating the young people of today will help us secure a sustainable future for our natural world.”