UAE | Environment

Al Ain Zoo to open hippo exhibit during Eid

Five animals will share enclosure complete with a pool and trees

  • By Sarah DabbarSpecial to Gulf News
  • Published: 18:06 August 13, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: Al Ain Zoo
  • Al Ain Zoo welcomes the upcoming Eid Al Fitr holidays with a new hippopotamus exhibit. The new hippo exhibit is located between the mixed African exhibit and the giraffe feeding area opposite the Arabian Wolf exhibit.

Al Ain: The Al Ain Zoo will welcome visitors this Eid with a new hippopotamus exhibit.

Five hippos have settled into their new home — an open area with a natural-looking landscape, plants and a pool — which mimicks their natural habitat. With hippos among the world’s heaviest terrestrial animals, the new enclosure is sure to provide an exciting new experience for visitors to the zoo.

Muna Al Daheri, acting director of life science and education at Al Ain Zoo, said: “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.”

The new hippo exhibit is located between the Mixed African exhibit and the Giraffe Feeding area opposite the Arabian Wolf exhibit.

The hippos will have to themselves a big pool equipped with a water filtration system that enhances water quality for longer periods. Numerous trees and shrubs within the enclosure will serve to provide shade to its inmates but the exhibit has been designed in a way that offers a clear view of the animals and water pool to the public.

Wild hippos naturally occur only in sub-Saharan Africa and within a restricted distribution area. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), hippos are listed in the Red List of Threatened species as vulnerable due to the significant decline in their population in the past three decades.

— Sarah Dabbar is an intern at Gulf News.

FACT FILE:

What: New hippopotamus exhibit

Where: Al Ain Zoo

When: Open during Eid Al Fitr holidays from 10am to 10pm; after Eid, the zoo will be open from 4pm to 10pm

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