Dubai Safari, slated to open this year, is to house one of the world’s largest repositories of animal genetic material.
The ‘frozen zoo’ will safeguard the future of animal species, particularly those threatened with extinction.
Tim Husband, the Technical Director of Dubai Safari, told Gulf News that the facility will have a sperm bank and, later on, an embryo bank.
A cutting-edge laboratory will store sperm, tissue samples and embryos of animals in liquid nitrogen.
The preserved sperm will be shared with other zoos to assist with breeding programmes.
Every animal involved will be fitted with a chip containing information about that animal and who it is related to. This high-tech solution – dubbed by Husband as ‘computer dating for animals’ – will avoid inbreeding.
According to Husband, the breeding programme will start as soon as the stock of animals is in place. The frozen zoo will begin its work as soon as the lab is ready.
Dubai Safari has been designed to house nearly 3,500 animals in its first phase. 500 have already arrived at the nearly 120-hectare zoo in Al Warqa.
The facility intends to be the biggest wildlife conservation project in the region. A conservation centre has been included in the development to support field research and educational activities.
DEAL Live by blooloop 2017
Tim Husband will be speaking at DEAL Live by blooloop. If you’re in Dubai for the DEAL Expo why not join us?