Hippos to be on show at Al Ain Zoo

Hippos to be on show at Al Ain Zoo

ABU DHABI - This Eid, the Al Ain Zoo will exhibit for the first time four of its over 20 hippopotamus. For the past 12 years, the animals have been living in an enclosure away from the public view, but now, for the first time, they become an outdoor exhibit.

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2012, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:02 PM

“We are pleased to offer a new exciting experience for our visitors. Hippos have been part of our animal collection for many years, but have not been on display for the public. Now, with the new exhibit being launched, visitors will be able to watch this extraordinary species enjoying their new home,” said Muna Al Dhaheri, acting director of Life Science and Education at Al Ain Zoo.

The new outdoors enclosure is around 1,000 square metres, located between the Mixed African exhibit and the Giraffe Feeding area opposite the Arabian Wolf exhibit. Large enough for several adult hippos, the area has natural-looking landscape with plants, trees and a water pool, which are usually found in the hippopotamus’ wild habitat.

To reduce the impact of the heat at this time of year, the new exhibit features shaded areas and water showers. The large water pool is equipped with a water filtration system that enhances water quality for longer periods. Lots of trees and shrubs decorate the enclosure as well to provide additional shade, but have been placed in a way that offers a clear view of the animals and water pool for the public.

The first four hippos will move into their new home on the first day of Eid Al Fitr. All of Al Ain Zoo’s hippos will get to spend time in the outdoors exhibit, based on a rotation schedule. Some of the baby hippos will be meeting visitors as well.

During Eid, people may observe them at Al Ain Zoo over extended hours, from 10am to 10pm. Expecting large crowds, the zoo has prepared itself for this holiday not only with longer opening hours, but also with extra security guards to help out visitors and with extended car parking.

A train taking people from the car park to the zoo’s entrance will also be available.


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