Ficus tree in quarantine at Green Planet, Dubai

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Journalism student Sara Hameed reports on the Green Planet in Dubai.

By Sara Hameed

SHARJAH – A Ficus tree is in quarantine at the Green Planet after the top started dying from bird damage, an expert said on Sept. 29.

Elizabeth Hill, who is a biologist at the Green Planet, said the tree’s leaves had stopped re-growing, so it was isolated as part of the recuperation process.

The Green Planet has also begun a composting project, where food waste from the animals and café is reused. They are growing bananas and passion fruit inside the biodome as well.

Hill further said the coronavirus lockdown was beneficial for the animals, as they could easier acclimate to the biodome without anyone around.

According to Hill, the Green Planet aims to educate people in the United Arab Emirates as to why animals must stay in the wild, with much of their wildlife rescued and brought in from other zoological facilities around the world.

Creatures of the Night, their nocturnal exhibition, follows a reverse night cycle with daytime from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., and night replicated using red light from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hill explained red light is used because it is better for the animals’ eyes.