A day at the Kuwait Camel Race Track

Post by Mark

Yesterday me and some friends headed to the Kuwait Camel Race Club in Kabd. I had never been to a camel race before and when my friend proposed it I figured it would be something exciting to do on a quiet Saturday afternoon. My friend got in contact with a person at the track so when we got there we had a guide waiting for us.


[YouTube]

The guide got into the car with us and took us past the security gate into the center of the race track where the camel owners drive alongside their camels during the race. The Kuwait Camel Club no longer use human jockeys but instead use robotic ones due to the controversial child jockey problems faced in the past. During the race the camel owners drive down the track alongside their camels controlling their robot jockeys with wireless controllers. The guide made me tune into 93.1mhz on the FM radio because there was a live broadcast of the actual race so we could follow it that way. You could watch the short video above to get a feel of the view from inside the car. During the start of every race all the cars drive to the starting line where the owners make last checks on their camels. The camels don’t start in front of the spectators stand but 3KM away from the finish line. Once the camels are ready they are lined up and the race begins. The cars drive alongside the camels all the way to the finish line and then the cars drive back to the starting line to check on the other set of camels. We did this maybe five or six times until all the races had been finished and then we drove back to the spectator stands.

There was a black tent near the track where the winner was given his prize. Afterwards we were invited to some dates with camel butter and camel milk. The butter was absolutely delicious and even the milk didn’t taste bad at all, kinda like something between buttermilk and laban.

If you’re interested in visiting the tracks to watch a race it’s very easy to find and do. Take the 6th Ring Road and if 360 Mall is on your right keep heading straight past the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium. Keep driving until you pass the new Kuwait University campus on your left (currently just hills and hills of sand surrounded by hoarding) and then after that in a bit you’ll see a sign for the 604 exit. Once you take the exit stop at the traffic light and then take a left and pass under the bridge. Then keep driving straight until you get to a roundabout, drive straight past that roundabout and keep driving until you get to a second roundabout. Once again pass that roundabout and keep driving until you hit the third roundabout. At the third roundabout go left and then head all the way till the end of the road. Once your read the end go right until you get to the end of the road again and you’ll spot the Kuwait Camel Club on your left. The whole ride shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes. There is no entrance fee and races are held every Saturday from 2:30pm between October and April. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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A different take on the zoo

Post by Mark

With all the problems with the Kuwait Zoo we sometimes forget it still can be a nice place to visit. A friend of mine passed by last week and she wrote about it in a much more positive way than I could ever do.

Did you know that the entrance fee is [500 filss] ONLY?! And now that the weather is still breezy & the sun isn’t eating our heads, half a KD will grant you scenery, active animals, great open space, clear skies, and best of all- an adventure to remember.

Her pictures are also really great so check out her post [Here]


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Awwwwww

Post by Mark

He’s kissing her because she’s injured. This shot was taken awhile ago at the Kuwait Zoo by a friend of mine who works there. [Link]

Note: I have no idea how I ended up with 3 animal related posts in one day.


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Animal deaths at the zoo

Post by Mark

Kids with slingshots are killing animals at the zoo.
How messed up is that? [Link]

via American Girls World


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Cat rescued from tree

Post by Mark

On Friday K’S PATH received a call about a cat that had been stuck in a very tall palm tree for several days. The good Samaritans who called in had made several attempts to get the cat down but were unsuccessful. So, yesterday morning K’S PATH sent out their animal rescue team which proceeded to ask the fire department for help due to the height the cat was found at. K’S PATH, the good Samaritans and the Fire Department worked together to remove the cat and bring it down to safety. Below are some pictures from the rescue.


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Only in the UAE

Post by Mark

Camel in the back of a Supercharged Range Rover. [Link]


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Biodiversity: Not Just a Myth

Post by John Peaveler

This story begins with an honest truth: A summer survey of Kuwait’s public access desert would reveal a landscape comprised primarily of farm animals, garbage, and earth (sand, dirt, and dust). A careful eye would notice some plants, but very few, very small, and nearly dead. I’m talking about those areas outside of the city, where urban civilization ends and nature begins. The obvious reason for the lack of plant life is that we live in a desert. We get very little precipitation. Plants need water. Sand is the natural substrate of the desert. These factors combined equal a quasi-moonscape, right? If you’ve made these conclusions, you are, I’m happy to say, mistaken, and it is my goal in writing this to amaze you with the beauty of Kuwait and encourage everyone to do better for the sake of our natural heritage.

The images of giant drifting sand dunes and storms that swallow up entire houses that so many of us associate with the word desert simply do not represent Kuwait. Our ecosystem is harsh: it’s hot, it’s dry, it’s wind-swept, it’s dusty, but most importantly, it is positively teeming with life. Actually, it SHOULD be positively teeming with life, but for the most part, it isn’t. It would be teeming with life if nature were allowed to take its course. Instead, we see the results of decades of under regulated grazing, off-road driving, and winter camping. It seems grim, I know. I’m here to tell you there is hope. More than that: there is life out there, just waiting for a safe place to live.

Enter the Abdaliya Nature Project.

The Abdaliya Nature Project was conceived in late 2010 by Kuwait Oil Company employees with a particular interest in seeing the restoration of Kuwait’s desert. These employees, acknowledging their role to utilize petroleum resources while protecting Kuwait’s natural environment, took the initiative to preserve an area of desert approximately 1.5 million square meters in size. Prior to reutilization as a nature project, this area was in the public domain and was being used for winter camping. Winter camping in Kuwait, while originally nothing more than a traditional way to enjoy the cool winter months has become so invasive and destructive that the desert ecosystem cannot compete with the concrete, garbage, tires, and other pollution dumped annually upon the spring abandonment of the campsites.

The project began with months of clearing garbage and debris left behind by more than a decade of camping. The most common forms of waste removed included water tanks, concrete blocks, concrete septic tanks, car tires, food and beverage containers, and materials used for shade. With a clean slate to work with, the next steps included constructing access roads and water pipelines followed by the planting of nearly 40,000 seedlings and saplings. Why not simply let the plants return on their own? The answer is diversity. While the “if you build it they will come” model is less costly and much more simple, the result is an imbalance of species. Much like a farmer’s field left empty and consumed by weeds, bare desert in Kuwait will result in a few species taking over the entire ecosystem, thus absorbing nutrients and precipitation and excluding other plants. From the very beginning Abdaliya was planted with a diverse group of native species.

Replanting commenced in early 2011. In less than a year, the Abdaliya Nature Project transformed a barren and utterly destroyed wasteland patch of desert into a unique and incredibly beneficial oasis of flora and fauna. During this period, K’S PATH has proudly been working with KOC on this project doing clean up, wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching, feral dog management, and more. Even in this relatively short period, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of birds, lizards, snakes, rodents, and insects in the project, none of whom were introduced. Our goal for the next two years is to introduce fox and hedgehogs to the area as we continue to strive toward a natural, balanced, and well-managed ecosystem. KOC is also planning to build an education center at the site so that we can begin to spread this message of diversity and protection for Kuwait’s future. The fact is that it will take all of us working together to protect Kuwait’s natural heritage for future generations.

If you participate in winter camping or drive off-road, please consider the implication of your actions. Properly dispose of your waste, remove everything you bring into the desert, and stick to established driving tracks.

For more pictures click [Here]

Post by John Peaveler
Managing Director
Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat (K’S PATH)


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The $100,000 Sheep

Post by Mark

Hot or Not? [Link]


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Reminder: Bark in the Park

Post by Mark

The dog show Bark in the Park is taking place this Saturday at the Ahmadi Japanese Gardens. I’m going to be one of the judges so make sure you bring me cookies! For details on the event click [Here]


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K’S PATH Open House

Post by Mark

TJC passed by the recent K’S PATH open house and created a short film about the shelter. If you’ve never been to their shelter before then this film should give you a better idea about the place. [YouTube]


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