CAIRO: One week after its birth, a rare dorcas gazelle has been released into its group at the Giza Zoo, according to a Tuesday statement by the park.
The animal is a native of Egypt, especially to oases in the Western Desert and in Sinai; it is featured in the logo of the Giza Zoo, inaugurated in 1981. It also inhabits other areas in North Africa and Sub-Sahara; however, it is in the vulnerable category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN.)
“The dorcas gazelle is one of the most desert-adapted of all gazelles; they can go for their entire lives without drinking, as they can get all the moisture they need from the plants that form their diet,” according to Wildscreen Arkive, a wildlife charity.
The zoo, built by Khedive Ismail, was once one of the most renowned zoos in the world, but its condition significantly deteriorated in the 2000s. In 2004, it lost its membership with the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA.)
Animal welfare activists have long slammed the zoo, claiming it tortures and starves animals. Further, mysterious deaths have occurred at the zoo in the past three years.
A heat wave that struck Egypt in August claimed the life of Bongo, a 23-year-old male orangutan at Giza Zoo. A baby giraffe died in December 2013; zoo officials claimed it “committed suicide” by hitting itself on the iron fence, and other officials said it “chocked itself.”
Three female black bears died in mysterious circumstances in May 2013, with the zoo reporting that the American bears had mauled each other over a male.
To compensate for the lost WAZA membership, the zoo gained the membership of the Arabian Zoo and Aquaria Association in 2015, and the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria in 2010.