Al Ain Zoo Wildlife

Al-Ain Zoo Animals

Al Ain Zoo is a natural habitat for 3000 animals belonging to 200 species living freely and happily inside. Rarest of the rare mammals, reptiles, and beautiful birds of Prey, the zoo of Al Ain possesses a variety of fauna. Let it be the powerful Steppe Eagle, Blue-necked Ostrich, the powerful big 5-Feline beasts, beautiful antelopes, giant Aldabra tortoise, or the Nile crocodile, you will get to see all these magnificent animals. Al Ain Zoo animals are mostly the animals that have been either endangered or on the verge of extinction, listed mostly on IUCN. Al Ain zoo has separate sections made for all of its animals such as reptile houses, aviary, big cat houses, monkey compounds, chimpanzee forest, and aquarium, to give them their natural space as much as possible. Animals such as Arabian leopards and Arabian oryx have been protected by Al Ain zoo throughout the years including the reintroduction of Houbara Bastards.

Birds to Spot at Al-Ain Zoo

Desert Eagle Owl

The magnificent large owl is found usually on rocky and deserts along with mountainous rocky slopes. This nocturnal animal is one of the main attractions of all of the birds present in the Aviary zone of Al Ain Zoo. This beautiful bird has yellow and orange eyes that it uses during dark times for its prey possessing exceptional night-vision. The beautiful Desert Eagle-owl has black and white marks on its feathers, making it easily distinguishable from other owls. These animals are endangered in Dubai as some folks kill them considering misfortune! To save this beauty, Al Ain Zoo possesses it and takes care of it.

Chilean Flamingo

As the name suggests, this beautiful flamingo is a pink-colored bird found living peacefully in Al Ain Zoo. This infamous animal is one of the main attractions due to its beautiful feathers getting colored due to the type of animals it preys upon. These are usually found in salty lakes and mudflats with an average lifespan of 30 years. Sized maximum up to 130 cm, these are closely related to American Flamingos as they are said to be conspecific. These are usually found in countries like Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina. When the lakes get drained, these flamingos are threatened as they thrive to live-with them being declared endangered by IUCN.

Emu Bird

The second tallest bird after an Ostrich, people crave to see at the Al Ain zoo is the Emu Bird. This bird is usually found in forests and grasslands mostly in Australia and is one of the largest native birds of the country to cover the entire mainland. An Emu Bird’s average height could be up to a whopping 6.2 feet moving ahead with a rapid speed of 48 kilometers per hour, making it a wonderful highlight of the aviary among all the al Ain zoo animals. These flightless birds have soft brown feathers and can travel large distances to survive, but this species is well-protected in the zoo. One of the coolest facts about these birds is that they feed on insects and plants but can go up to weeks without food as they drink a large amount of water.

Blue-Necked Ostrich

Most powerful birds of the Al Ain Zoo, these animals are with long legs and toes making them different from everyone. Usually found in Savannas and Deserts, these birds are hunted down to obtain leather. The Blue-necked Ostrich is a Somali Ostrich, a flightless omnivore bird. These animals eat plants and leaves along with lizards, rodents, and snakes. Male Blue necked ostriches are larger compared to the females as they can run at 70 kilometers per hour speed.

Lesser Flamingo

These Flamingos are the smallest of all other flamingos but these are the most common type of flamingos far away from being endangered. Their names are lesser but they are no lesser as their population is around 2 million in number. These Flamingos weigh around 1.2-2.7 kilograms with a height of 80-90 centimeters. These live on tropical alkaline, and saline lakes in Pakistan, Eastern, and Southern Africa. These cute little flamingos feed on alkaline lake spirulina algae. The chemicals obtained from the algae As people see them near the water, they consider the time unsuitable for cultivation.

Steppe Eagle

The national animal of Kazakhstan, the Steppe Eagle, is so important that it is seen on the country’s national flag as well. This magnificent animal lives in desert areas and is seen in the regions of Romania and South Russia. Steppe Eagle is a large bird that belongs to the family of Accipitridae with blackish feathered legs and a brown upper body. These eagles are special because they feed heavily on ground squirrels. These eagles migrate themselves to find their food subject to the availability of ground squirrels. Regarded sometimes as a solitary bird, there is still confusion regarding the same as this bird has been seen in the company of conspecific.

Vulturine Guineafowl

Resembling a vulture owing to its bald head, this bird is actually a Guineafowl named Vulturine Guineafowl due to its look. Found in shrublands and dry savannahs, this animal is seen in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. This bird has a round body, and a small head but is the largest of the Guinea Fowl with a size of 24-28 inches. The wings, neck, and legs of this bird are longer than other Guinea Fowls. Forming flocks of 25 birds outside the breeding season, these birds are gregarious species feeding on small invertebrates. Although it isn’t flightless, this bird has been seen to be running more than flying, especially during times of distress.

Greater Flamingo

Found mostly in lagoons, lakes, and coastal waters, this adorable bird has been seen in Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. These birds are the largest ones in their family with beautiful pink legs and black secondary feathers making them one of the most beautiful Al ain zoo animals. As its name suggests, this is the largest Flamingo species to ever exist up to 43-59 inches tall and weighing around 2-4 kilograms. The male species has reached up to 74 meters tall. This flamingo species has no sub-species with an average lifespan of a whopping 60 years but the wild ones typically last up to 30-40 years. One specialty about these wonderful birds is that they have a movable upper jaw and can penetrate deep into the waters for fetching their prey.

Lesser Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

The lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo resembles the Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo of Australia but is small in size. Found mostly in the cultivated areas and forests, this bird is found mostly in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. The yellow-crested cockatoo is also categorized as the Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. The size of this bird is medium, possessing a rectangular yellow crest with gray feet and a black bill. These birds live in tree cavities and their eggs hatch after 28 days as the chicks leave the nest after 75 days. These are one of the most critically endangered ones, owing to illegal bird trading.

Mammals to Spot at Al-Ain Zoo

Barbary Sheep

Found mostly in mountainous regions of North Africa, the Barbary sheep are one of the most beautiful Al Ain zoo animals. The height of these wonderful animals is almost 100 centimeters with Sandy's brown body. These animals have slightly lighter bellies with a dark back and they tend to become even darker as they age. The shaggy hair of these sheep is a noticeable feature along with their triangular horns, making them easily distinguishable from all the other zoo animals. Barbary sheep are active in the early morning and late evenings while they rest throughout the day, making them crepuscular, Hence, they are witnessed usually in the early mornings. Barbary sheep are nomadic as they travel through the mountain regions but are known to adapt well to their habitat.

African Wolf

African Wolf are known to be living on grasslands and scrublands, mostly in Southern and Eastern Africa but you will get a chance to say hello to these marvelous creatures in the zoo of Al Ain. These wolves have longer ears, elevated forehead, pointed muzzle, and the sharpest teeth. African wolves are territorial and monogamous as they remain with their family only and prey on invertebrates and mammals such as gazelle frown. The specialty of African wolves is that they are quite vocal as they use the technique of barking, growling, yelping, woofing, and crackling, heard frequently from distances in Al Ain Zoo. These wolves are unfortunately hunted down as they contribute to the rabies vector but Al ain zoo gives them shelter and protects them.

Dama Gazelle

Living in the grasslands and savannahs, you will most likely find the Dama Gazelles in Western and Central Africa. Dama Gazelle is a national symbol in the country of Niger, Central Africa but still, you can meet them in Al Ain Zoo. These gazelles are one of the most threatened species as they are uncontrollably hunted down but this zoo takes utmost care of the antelope. Dama Gazelles feed on grasses, fruits, and leaves as they are herbivores and are white in color possessing a reddish-brown head and neck. Both male and female Dama gazelles have curved and ringed horns in the shape of S. Female Dama gazelle is shorter than the male and these animals are always on alert, so chances are that you might surprise them. They use a behavioral technique known as Pronking to warn other animals about upcoming dangers, a sound you will hear in their closest proximity.

Western Lowland Gorilla

Western Lowland Gorillas are one of the most popular animals as they are peacefully living in this zoo despite being critically endangered. The Western Lowland Gorillas are smaller than their Eastern counterparts. These animals are smaller in size and are lighter in weight with broad chests and heavy necks, making you feel merrier as you get to say hello to them. These animals feed mostly on fruits and climb up high in the trees as they have stronger feet, and if you are lucky, you will catch them climbing high. Male Western lowlands have larger skulls than the females and brownish-red crests. Males weigh around 140 kilograms with a height of 180 centimeters and females weigh up to 70 kilograms with a height of 150 centimeters.


Living mostly in rainforest and grasslands, these Jaguars are found in the Americas but you can get ready to go on a mini adventure with these beings at Al Ain Zoo. Jaguars are similar to leopards but are stronger as they are more muscular with large heads. The jaws of these animals are so strong that they can crush the skull of an animal in one go. Jaguars are known to break the carapaces of tortoises and turtles with their horrifying killing technique of biting directly through the skull, you need not be scared as Al Ain zoo will make you see them in a protected environment. They weigh up to 158 kilograms with a body length up to 1.85 centimeters.


Gemsbok is a mammal that lives in Southern Africa as they are known to be quite adapted out of all Al Ain Zoo animals. These wonderful mammals adapt to the desert environment as they can go on days without water owing to the reason that they absorb moisture from the eaten plants. The physiological processes of the Gemsbok don’t need a water supply to carry on. Gemsbok is light taupe in color with long black tails ranging 46-90 centimeters in length and a muscular neck, making them stand out enough to catch your attention. These animals live in herds with 40 other members but are constantly hunted down for their stunning horns.


You will love to interact and be playful around your very own friend- Chimpanzees, popularly known for sharing 98% of DNA with humans as both share a common ancestor living 7 million years ago. Chimpanzees are six times stronger than humans and are quite Intelligent as they understand sign language and solve many problems provided by the trainers. Living mostly in woodland forests and savanna woodlands, chimpanzees live in groups of up to 150 members and are quite friendly to humans. Sadly, chimpanzees are on the IUCN red list of endangered species yet Al Ain zoo takes care of them.

Patas Monkey

Patas Monkey lives mostly in Savanna and Woodlands, found in Western Ethiopia and Senegal but you can still say Hi as they reside peacefully in Al Ain Zoo. The male Patas Monkey reaches up to 87 centimeters in length and is two times in size of the Female ones reaching only 49 meters in length. The tails of these monkeys are quite long, 30 inches in length as they show a lot of signs of dimorphism, making them easy to spot. The speed of these animals reaches up to 55 kmph as they don’t jump between the tree branches, they just run and chances are that you catch them running at rapid speed! The average lifespan of these monkeys is about 20 years.

Sand Gazelle

The animals of the dunes and the sand deserts, the Sand Gazelles are found mostly in the Arabian Peninsula. Sand gazelles are genetically related to North African Gazelles but the entire population of these antelopes is just 10,000 in number with only 10% of them being in the UAE, hence they are well preserved in Al Ain Zoo. Others are found in the countries of Oman, South Eastern Turkey, and small numbers in Iraq and Jordan. You will most likely catch Sand Gazelles eating their food blissfully as these herbivorous animals feed only on grasses, leaves, and plants. Unfortunately, these animals are hunted down or are live captured for breeding programs.


Pumas are found to be living in mountain forests, grassland, and swamplands, mostly in North and South America but Al Ain Zoo is cool enough to feature these Feline beasts. The pumas of Florida are really famous as they are found there mostly but the Pumas of Al Ain Zoo are supposedly popular across the whole Middle East. Pumas are closely related to wild cats despite their large size making them be called Mountain lions or cougars. Pumas are up to 6-8 feet tall weighing anywhere between 29-90 kilograms with a tan color body. An average lifespan of 21 years with males being larger in size than females. As they are related to felines very closely, pumas are known to purr continuously for a long time as they are small cats in the biological sense. So, you will most likely get to listen to their unique sound from a distance, even before witnessing the magnificent creatures!

African Lion

The infamous African lion is found mainly in Eastern and Southern Africa with their natural habitat being Forests and Savanna and of course, the Al Ain Zoo. The African lions live in the pride of 30 with mostly females, their children, and a few males. The female African lions are said to be more aggressive as they hunt down their prey and eat only after serving their males. They are the most popular big 5 among Al Ain Zoo animals as they include the African White Lion as well. This white lion is not a species but a white-colored lion is rare due to the recessive color inhibitor gene called “chinchilla” as you will witness once in lifetime type of sight of the beautiful White African Lion in this wonderful zoo.

Common Hippopotamus

Living in semi-aquatic areas. mangrove swamps, lakes, and rivers, these animals are found mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa but you will find them lazily living in the zoo of Al Ain. Hippopotamus are termed to be lazy creatures as they are found mostly resting in states lying in cool waters. These are easily distinguishable as they are enormous animals with shorter legs, barrel-shaped torsos, hairless bodies, and large sizes making them the third-largest mammals by weight after rhinoceros and elephants, hence you can spot them resting near the waters of Al Ain Zoo. The weight of hippopotamus ranges from 1300-1500 kilograms still making them run up to 30 kmph for a short duration.

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Ring-tail lemurs are the star of the lemur exhibit show at Al Ain Zoo, the infamous ‘lemur walk’ people come to see from far. Although they are found mostly in scrubland and forests, these cute-little creatures are found to be living in Southern and Southwestern Madagascar. These animals are named as such due to their long white and black ringtails with 13 alternating color bands. You will see the Ring-tail lemurs eating and running as these are omnivores feeding on nuts, fruits, and vegetables along with some invertebrates. These belong to one of the five families of the lemur genus with an endangered status owing to natural habitat destruction. These animals are highly social and found to be living in a group of 30 communicating with loud vocalizations and scent marking.

White Tiger

White tigers are no different from tigers as they only exist when in captivity such as in zoos but this white color occurs due to color morphing by a recessive gene. As everyone knows about the wild tigers being endangered, these animals are increasing in zoos as wild tigers are taken in captivity to save them. Among the Big 5 Felines of the zoo, you can catch the sight of these ferocious beasts and can choose to engage in a tug of war! These animals grow fully up to 2-3 years after their birth reaching full hunting skills. The typical weight of a white tiger is around 200-230 kilograms with a 3-meter body length. The future of these magnificent animals is dependent upon the survival of the wild tigers and their preservation but Al Ain zoo protects the lives of these Tigers with their continuous applaudable efforts.

Reptiles to See at Al-Ain Zoo

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

The Giant Aldabra Tortoise is a fascinating reptile to meet in the reptile house of the Al Ain Zoo. This fabulous animal weighs about a whopping 250 kilograms and reaches up to a length of 1 meter. Usually found in mangrove swamps and grassy plains, this reptile is endemic to the islands of Aldabra- the place where it got its name from and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean but Al Ain zoo gives you a chance to say Hello to them. The Giant Aldabra Tortoise, indeed lives up to a giant lifestyle as well, around 80-120 years of lifespan!

Leptien’s Spiny-tailed Lizard

Called ‘Dhubs’ by the locals, this strange lizard is surprisingly a herbivore reptile that eats plant materials! One of the most unique al Ain zoo animals to spot, this lizard is usually found in thick desert habitats. Mostly found in UAE, Jebel Ali, Oman, and Al Ain, this zoo is a lizard’s own home where you can see it living peacefully. Leptin's Spiny-tailed Lizard weighs several pounds and is sized around 30 inches, living up to 15-25 years. These reptiles live in colonies as they extensively dig for survival.

African Spurred Tortoise

Found mostly in the Sahara Desert and Sahel, the African Spurred Tortoise, you will be able to interact with this wonderful animal in the reptile zone. The tortoise is said to live up to 80 years but it has been recorded to be living up to 56 years. You can catch the look of the 18-inch-long carapace of this tortoise, weighing up to 200 pounds. However, you should be a little careful to interact as this calm reptile is known to be biting each other and humans for several reasons.

Red-Eared Terrapin

Found mostly in Mexico and the United States of America, the Red-Eared Terrapin is one of the rarest animals to meet and greet in Al Ain Zoo. One of the most popular pets in the USA, the Red-Eared Terrapins mostly live around lakes, rivers and other water bodies permanently, hence, you can find them living the same way in Al Ain Zoo. These terrapins are surprisingly omnivorous, eating a variety of small animals and plant materials. The patch of red skin around their ears gives them the name of Red-Eared Terrapin with their colorful and vibrant body making them the most beautiful animals to see in the zoo of Al Ain.

Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile is the superstar Al Ain zoo animal to meet in the reptile house. One of the largest reptiles, you will get to see stunning animals ranging up to 5 meters in length and weighing up to 200 kilograms! These reptiles are mostly found in brackish and freshwater lakes of Tropical and Southern Africa. You will come to know that they look magnificent in real life as you see them from the closest proximity- as they are popularly hunted for their skin. Al Ain Zoo protects these reptiles as they live up to 60 years. The Nile crocodile eats small fishes and every unfortunate being that crosses its path- hippos, zebras, and birds as it slashes the prey with a bite force 5x of that of the lion.

FAQs of Al-Ain Zoo

What is so special about Al-Ain Zoo?

Al Ain Zoo is a natural habitat and ecosystem for 4000 animals representing the most diverse species. It possesses 130 endangered Al Ain zoo animal species and well-researched breeding methods that have been widely acknowledged.

What are the special services provided by Al Ain Zoo?

Wheelchairs and entry to the Al Ain Zoo are provided free of charge to disabled individuals and their escorts. They also receive a unique free cart and free parking.

What is the History behind Al Ain Zoo?

Al Ain Zoo was established in 1968 by the nation's founder, the late Sheikh Zayed, who made the landmark decision to build this zoo for protecting endangered species. The decision was made in response to the 1960s decision to protect rare desert antelopes such as the Arabian Oryx, which was on the verge of extinction. The zoo's driving force was the preservation of the country's animals in its natural setting. The international conservation community has praised Al Ain Zoo for protecting endangered species and their ecosystems through safe and unique breeding procedures. The zoo has been able to save endangered animals such as the Arabian Oryx, Arabian Leopard, Green Turtles, and Falcons, as well as reintroduce Houbara Bustards.

How long does it take to fully explore the Al Ain Zoo?

It takes a whole day to thoroughly explore Al Ain Zoo, which has sections for various animals such as the Big Cat House, Reptile House, Chimpanzee Forest, Monkey Compound, Aquarium, and Aviary.

How many animals are there in Al Ain Zoo?

The total animals in Al Ain zoo are 3000 in number and these belong to 200 species.


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