A zoo in the desert

Barka: Can the animals, birds and other creatures, ferocious and kind, which are found in forests, thick meadows and other pastures live happily in the middle of the desert? The Sultanate is proving to be a haven for a wide range of animals with the one of its kind habitat, complemented with the love and care of humans. The animals in the park include domesticated as well as wild animals, from predators to reptiles and birds. Lions, tigers, leopard, hyenas, foxes, nymphs, snakes, crocodiles and several species of monkeys, besides some unique ones such as raccoons, deer, horses and other animals are making this zoo top in the list of ‘places to visit’. The man behind the idea of a zoo in the desert of Al Batinah Governorate, Ahmed bin Abdul Rahim al Balushi, is still exploring ways to enhance the number of members in his vast zoo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“I have always been passionate about animals and birds from my childhood days and the idea of establishing Al Nu’man Park traces roots to my hobby of giving a better house for the animals that I have in my possession for more than 20 years’’, says Ahmed al Balushi.

He brought several animals, rare and beautiful ones from the Sultanate, the GCC and other Asian countries and kept them in his farm. As he grew up, he started to arrange sheds for the animals which led to the idea of a zoo.

“At that time, I had a very small farm but with his hard-earned money, he bought many neighbouring farms to make my farm bigger’’. Al Nu’man Park, spread over 10,000 square metre opened on November 18, 2009, is located in the Wilayat of Barka in the village of Al Nu’man near Al Nu’man Heritage House.

This park is one of the rare parks that contains many attractions for tourists and visitors.Al Nu’man Park has an accommodation for visitors who want to spend some time amid the natural attractions and other facilities such as a swimming pool, a special place for barbecue, in addition to a number of restaurants and shops to cater both domestic and international tourists. A new section, called heritage section for old coins, postage stamps, traditional old clothes, old machines, old office automation machines and copies of the old Omani newspapers are displayed in order to introduce the Omani heritage to visitors.

The idea of the zoo, according to him, is to make people happy by watching different animals. He says the country is in need of such rare recreational space for families and children to know more about the animals.

“Today, I am getting queries not only from Oman but from other countries as well to come and visit the zoo and do research on various animals and birds,’’, he adds. The zoo has a new attraction that’s evoking queries from many quarters and visitors who yearn to see them. The tiger couple, Pablo and Luna has parented Shathoo and Kapooth, twin cubs some three months ago making social media abuzz with their photos and videos. “It was a great news to the zoo and me personally that twin sisters were born for the first time in the country’’, Ahmed al Balushi said.