Al Khor Park has released 40 squirrels, which will freely roam the park. Visitors can interact with the squirrels, feed and play with them at various parts of the park, Dr Mohamed al-Khayareen, general superviser of the zoo section at the park, says.
He told local Arabic daily Arrayah recently that the squirrels can be fed fruits and nuts and are not harmful to humans. The squirrels at Al Khor Park belong to the Syrian Squirrel type because this variety can adjust well to the Qatari environment.
The official expected the squirrels at the park to be among its most attractive features for visitors. However, he explained that it will take some time until the newly introduced squirrels get used to the surroundings and atmosphere of the park and its visitors, so it would be difficult to see them easily at this initial phase.
He added that they could be hiding among the tree branches and other areas in the park but in time they will come out and interact with the public freely as they are naturally capable of this type of coexistence as is the case in some European countries.
Meanwhile, Dr al-Khayareen said there is a plan that will be implemented soon to release around 60-100 Indian peacocks in the park. Accordingly, visitors will be able to feed them directly without any fears.
Regarding the squirrels that have been released and the peacocks that are planned to be released soon, he said these are all brought from the production centre at the Doha Zoo, which is currently closed for the public.
Further, co-ordination has been maintained with Siekah Birds Center, as an official supplier to Al Khor Park, to provide the park with a collection of rare reptiles and birds, which the public would be able to take photographs with on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, a couple of endangered Arab wolves and the huge viper snake were added to the desert part of the park.
Visitors can now feed the giraffes at the park on Thursdays and Fridays under the supervisions of the park's employees concerned. Dr al-Khayareen said one of the fountains in the park was developed into a pond, where a number of flamingos, ducks and geese were released. The park has ample green and open spaces with a wide variety of trees in addition to various services utilities.