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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Dubai Safari  gets new wildlife additions 

African elephants, chimpanzees, otters and a young Komodo dragon are the latest additions

Four African elephants will be some of the biggest new attractions when Dubai Safari re-opens in late 2018. Courtesy Dubai Safari
Four African elephants will be some of the biggest new attractions when Dubai Safari re-opens in late 2018. Courtesy Dubai Safari

African elephants and a young Komodo dragon are some the latest attractions visitors to Dubai Safari can expect to see when the refurbished zoo opens.

The opening date for the park, now run by developer Meraas after it took over operations from Dubai Municipality, has been pushed back from October 1 to continue upgrades to the venue. A new opening date has yet to be announced.

Four new African elephants, one bull and three females, that arrived at Dubai Safari in April from Zimbabwe are set to be the park’s biggest new attraction.

“Dubai Safari Park has been undergoing a programme of upgrades to expand and improve visitor experience, education, animal diversity and welfare since May, and considerable progress has been achieved,” said general manager Frank Rietkerk.

“The animals are in the process of adapting to their new environment and co-habitants.”

Over the summer, the park has welcomed scores of animals including a group of moon bears, African elephants, chimpanzees, otters, a young Komodo dragon, and new birds for the park's aviary.

Visitors can also take in new additions such as a hop-on, hop-off bus service that will take people to each area of the park, as well as an upgraded Adventure Village and new restaurants and kiosks.

Dubai Safari opened in 2017 to educate the public on wildlife, and provide a quarantine area to receive animals handed in from private zoos around the country.

Enclosures have been built to withstand the summer heat of the UAE, with frozen underground pipes keeping rocks cool, air conditioning for all the animals, and vapour sprays and chilled ponds to keep them refreshed during intense temperatures.

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Moon bears enjoying life in their new home

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*This story has been amended based on new information from Dubai Safari Park