Many years ago I recall standing in Nyae Nyae Conservancy, Namibia, and glorying at the absolute magnificence of the landscape. Africa is in my blood — I realised that a long time ago — and when I spill my own blood, does the sand not wrap its fingers around the droplets and pull them deep into the warm earth on which I stand? Nyae Nyae taught me many things; the most important of which was that no matter how glorious the creatures are that live upon it, without the land to support them, they are all doomed. Indeed, it’s often their beauty that is their downfall towards extinction. In some ways, the Arabian Peninsula’s experience mirrors that of Africa. For centuries it supported an ecosystem with wildlife species closely related to those on the African continent: rock art found in the desert of Saudi Arabia depicts lions, leopards, oryx, ibex and ostriches, and includes scenes of man riding horses and camels in pursuit, weilding bows, arrows and spears. It was hunting, and more recently environmental damage, which drove these animals to extinction. The Arabian oryx were once widely seen, until tribes armed themselves with rifles and 4X4s penetrated the most remote desert areas. In 1972, a hunting party in Oman shot the last Arabian oryx in the wild. Rewilding anywhere on the planet is challenging, because the conditions that caused the extinction usually still exist. However, while the landscape here is currently deprived of it’s naturally occurring wildlife, it is largely ecologically still intact. Saudi Arabia is now embarking on a journey to reintroduce these species, and while they work to reverse-engineer the work of Noah, gradually all God’s creatures, from hares to leopards will be returned to the landscape — and nature will help to do the rest.