İzmir home to animals in danger of extinction
İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
The Asian elephant İzmir, the first Asian elephant born in Turkey, is seen with his mother Begümcan in the İzmir Natural Life Park. The park is home to many animals in danger of extinction and it will also welcome new species in the coming days.The İzmir Natural Life Park is becoming an important center for wild animals. Providing safety and shelter for endangered species, it also gives them the opportunity to reproduce and protects their future.
The park is home to many animals in danger of becoming extinct, including the Asian elephant, the Bengal tiger, the African lion and the Anatolian mouse deer. It is currently preparing to welcome several new additions in the form of African penguins and sloths, as well as Anatolian wildcats.
There are more than 1,200 animals of 120 varieties in the Natural Life Park. The park identifies endangered animals and takes them into its care, hoping to preserve animals threatened by extinction and increase their numbers. New Asian elephant İzmir, recently born to its mother Begümcan, epitomizes the park’s success and symbolizes one of the primary aims of the initiative.
The Natural Life Park will soon house a number of new species. The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, coordinating with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), which carries out research of species around the world, has decided to bring in some African penguins and sloths.
In the coming days, the first Anatolian wildcats will also arrive and be introduced to their new home following a period of adaptation. Meanwhile, the park is undergoing some extension work in order to accommodate its new residents; a pool is to be built in the penguin shelter and a new section will be added to the existing bear house.
Among the animals the İzmir Natural Life Park has given refuge to are north African lions, of which there are three currently living in the park. The Anatolian wildcat, traditionally seen almost everywhere in Anatolia but now surviving in small groups in the Mediterranean and eastern regions, has also found a home there.
Asian elephants are native to India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Sumatra, and there are a total of five Asian elephants in Turkey, three of which are in İzmir. Turkey’s first baby elephant was born in İzmir.
Bengal tigers live in the southeastern part of India. Their number is 3,600 to 4,600 in the world today, and three live in the park.
Gazelles are from North Africa, Palestine, Israel, Arabia, Iran, Turkistan and the eastern part of China. Their number is reducing dramatically as a result of hunting and other human-related activity. However, thanks to specialized stations like Ceylanpınar in the Turkish southeastern province of Şanlıurf, where the animals reproduce, the population is starting to revive itself. There are 50 gazelles in the park and their number is gradually increasing.
İzmir Natural Life Park is also home to three African hippopotamuses.