Presenter: Dr. Tim Bouts, Director, Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation
Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, as Dr. Tim Bouts describes, as a “well hidden secret in Qatar” partly due to its remote location as well as wildlife preservation and conservation efforts in Qatar are relatively obscure.
Al Wabra, a 2.5 sq km conservation centre, started out as a hobby farm in the 1990s by Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani, a Qatari national and hailed as one of the foremost art collectors in the world. The farm holds more than 480 cages, aviaries and enclosures. The animal collection includes 2006 animals of 90 different species. Many of the species are endangered and are managed through European Endangered Species programs (EEP) or regional and national species plans. These rare breeds live at the centre alongside the staff, who include vets, curators, biologists, wild animal keepers and their families.
The next step for Al Wabra is to increase public access so that the community can learn more about the important conservation work being carried out there.
About Tim BoutsTim Bouts works as the Director of the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, a breeding and conservation centre for endangered wildlife, and is actively involved in the reintroduction of spix’s macaws in the wild in Qatar. Tim holds a Masters of Science degree in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College in London and ZSL London Zoo. His undergraduate degree and first work experience stems from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Ghent, Belgium at the department of Surgery and Anesthesiology of large animals and also developed a new anesthetic table for Koi carps. He moved to South-West England to work at Duchy veterinary hospital in Newquay, Cornwall. This hospital was a referral centre for exotic pets. He also was the attending veterinarian for Newquay Zoo, The Cornish Bird of Prey Centre and Blue Reef Aquarium. In the United Arab Emirates he became the Head of Veterinary Department of the private collection of the UAE President (Management of Nature Conservation). He was also the chief vet in a private zoo specialized in breeding wild cats (e.g. cheetahs and clouded leopards). As the sole clinician at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Tim perfected his anesthesia skills in large herbivores (rhinoceroses and wild artiodactylids) where he lead research on elephant medicine including research into the lethal disease elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV).