The mini zoo at Al Khor Family Park has emerged as major destination for children where they can interact with their favourite animals and birds.
Seeing animals in real life is a much more immersive experience than reading about them in books or watching them on screens; kids feel more connected to the creatures.
“Al Khor Family Park was closed for about four months for renovation. The new look of the park features a mini zoo, a battery-operated train and many other facilities,” said In-Charge of Al Khor Family Park, Khalid Abdurrahman Al Nuaimi, while talking to The Peninsula.
He said that idea behind setting up a mini zoo is to provide an opportunity to children and school students to see their favourite animals and birds in real life which they read in the books and watched in the electronic gadgets.
“People with large number of children who were waiting eagerly for the reopening of the park, are coming to the park,” said Al Nuaimi adding that the park expects over 20,000 visitors at weekends. He said that the park received up to 12,000 visitors before renovation.
“A large number of school students are expected to visit the Park which witnessed the visits from about three schools on a daily basis before renovation,” said Al Nuaimi.
Speaking about other new facilities at the park, Al Nuaimi said: “A cinema hall and an amphitheater to host different types of activities are also added to the park.”
He said that the park attracts visitors from all over the country as it is a nice place for family entertainment.“The park has many entertainment facilities, games, green areas and restaurants,” said Al Nuaimi adding that so far eight productive families have been granted permission to offer traditional and other types of food to the visitors.
Dr Mohamad Al Khiyarain from Animal Section of Public Parks Department said that a veterinary clinic was set up at the park to provided medical services to the animals.
He said that the clinic has qualified veterinary doctors with full medical crew who keep a close watch on the animals and give vaccinations as per the schedule of the zoo care.
The new look park’s mini zoo has seven new sections which house 315 children’s favourite animals of 49 species.
The zoo has an Asian bear, two African lions, two Bengal tigers, two white tigers, two black jaguars, two cheetahs. The monkey section includes two chimpanzees, 12 baboons, 16 vervet, 12 cappuccino, three rhesus.
The crocodile pond has three Nile crocodiles. Two giraffes, a rhinoceros, an Asian cat and a wild cat are also added to the zoo.
Seven bird cages have been added which have two Macau birds, one yellow and one blue, 10 African Casco birds, 20 lovebirds, 20 wildbirds, six Amazon birds, and eight Indian parrots.
The waterfowl birds without cages that are added to the large bird cage include eight flamingos, 12 ibis, 22 white geese, 12 white ducks, six Ethiopian chicken, and 24 Indian peacocks.
Seven zebras, 26 gazelle deer, five African ostriches, five Australian ostriches, five dwarf goats, four sika gazelle, 12 rare pygmy monkeys of six species were available before renovation.
The zoo has specially designed barns. An artificial lake has been developed for crocodiles where visitors can view crocodiles up close.
The giraffe’s barn is designed so that a visitor can interact and take memorial photos by feeding the giraffes. The bear is placed inside an open barn with a glass insulator that allows the visitors and people with special needs to view it closely.
Wild cats’ section is also designed as the visitors can see them closely at a distance of 1.5 metres. Monkeys’ section has five barns through which a visitor can see them at a distance of 1.5 metres.
Water birds are seen from the bridge, while other birds can be viewed by entering in the large cage and walking on the bridge inside it.
The 240,000 square metre park features a zoo, a waterfall and a battery-operated train, a spacious restaurant, mosque, museum, mini-golf area, wall mural, skating area, children’s play area, basketball court, food kiosks, drinking fountain, waterfall and an amphitheatre.
Al Khor Park has two play areas: one for older children and one for the younger ones. These play areas are completely covered with a rubber floor and occupy an area of approximately 4,000 square metres. There is also an external area for sports and surfboarding.
The entry fees to Al Khor Family Park is QR15 per person for adults and QR10 for the children up to 10 years. The train ride will charge QR5 per person. The park will open from Saturday to Thursday, from 10am to 11pm. On Friday, it will receive visitors from 2pm to 11pm and on Tuesday will be dedicated for women and children.
According to the experts, children gain vast knowledge when visiting a zoo. They use all of their senses to take in their surroundings and expand their understanding about animals and their environment. They learn the way an animal smells, the sounds he makes, the way he feels and what he looks like. Zoos offer a true multi-sensory approach to learning.
Visiting a zoo offers so many incredible learning opportunities. While having a fun day exploring, kids will develop valuable skills and obtain priceless knowledge.
A day at the zoo also encourages a healthy lifestyle while bringing family and friends together. It is the perfect day trip destination for any season.
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