Al Ain Zoo announces longer hours from Eid

AL AIN — Al Ain Zoo will be open for longer hours from the first day of Eid Al Fitr to offer a unique day-and-night experience to visitors.

By Lana Mahdi

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Published: Fri 12 Oct 2007, 10:15 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:48 AM

The new timings — from 8am to 10pm — will give visitors the opportunity to view a fascinating variety of animals and birds in their natural environment during both day and night, and follow the successful launch of the Summer Night Zoo that attracted over 110,000 visitors, said Majed Al Mansouri, Managing Director of the zoo.

In view of the overwhelming response to the night zoo, the authorities have decided to extend the zoo timings from Eid, he said.

‘Eid is a time when families come together from not only different emirates but also neighbouring countries. By extending the zoo timings at this time, we are giving families an opportunity to celebrate the festival in a truly unique surrounding, especially in the night,’ said Al Mansouri.

The night zoo is part of a series of initiatives undertaken in the recent months. The other initiatives include a renovation programme with changes to the landscape and infrastructure and the introduction of several new animals.

One of the recent additions is the 15 Meerkats from South Africa. Meerkats — of the Mongoose family — live in groups of up to 30. The Meerkats are currently in quarantine before they are moved to the core zoo.

Mark Craig, Zoo Director, said: ‘Before deciding to extend the zoo timings, we had made careful preparation to ensure the safety and health of the animals, including a gradual change in the feeding timings so that the animals remained active even in the late hours. The animals had to get accustomed to the new lighting, including the moonlighting. Fortunately, most of the animals are now active at night.’

A number of new shows have been introduced to give visitors an insight into the behaviour of certain species. For example, the Bird Show is the only one of its kind in the world to be shown at night. It showcases owls, falcons, vultures and snakes exhibiting their natural behaviour at night.

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