The preservation of wildlife across the world has become an issue of great concern as we see species become more endangered and some even reaching extinction. The illegal trade of wildlife is also a global problem, and the Middle East is becoming one of the more trouble areas in the illegal trade of wildlife. Many exotic animals are kept in private collections, or sold to circuses or other display facilities to be used for entertainment purposes. In many cases, as the animals grow to adulthood, their care becomes too expensive and difficult and they are sold to zoos, turned out into the desert to die or killed. Keeping conditions in zoos are usually poor. As many wild animals as possible are crammed into cages, as the main aim is to breed as many animals as possible. Cubs are often taken away from their mothers as soon as the age of 2 weeks to bring the female lion in back into oestrus quickly. These cubs get hand-raised and are used for entertainment purposes, such as photographs with tourists or sold in the illegal trade, which is in fact how many of these zoos sustain their operations. The illegal trade of such animals presents a further risk for the spread of zoonotic diseases across the borders of the countries the animals are transported through. One of the major problems facing governments and animal welfare groups is the fact that there is nowhere to keep the animals once they have been confiscated. In some cases appropriate placement of the animals in sanctuaries across the world has been possible; however this process cannot be sustained as many of the sanctuaries themselves have reached capacity. A Wildlife Sanctuary in Jordan will provide a solution to the issues above, creating a safe haven for the wildlife of Jordan and the region and providing people with the opportunity to experience animals as they should be kept.
Al Ma’wa Wildlife sanctuary will be established on 363 Dunnums of land in Souf, 37 Km north of Amman. The land has been assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Jordan, for the sole purpose of the establishment of a wildlife sanctuary by the Princess Alia Foundation and Vier Pfoten International Al Ma’wa wildlife sanctuary will provide large enclosures for different species of wildlife from Jordan and the region; which will be adapted to their specific needs. The sanctuary will guarantee these animals lifelong care in a species appropriate habitat.
For more information on Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife please visit www.almawajordan.org