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Emirates Park Zoo is celebrating the arrival of Najuma, Otto's partner Image Credit:

ABU DHABI: Emirates Park Zoo is celebrating the arrival of Najuma, a female Hippo, as a companion for its current resident Otto.

Otto the Hippo was born on August 6, 2012 in La Cornelle Zoo, Bergamo in Italy.

As part of their crucial partnerships with zoological institutions around the world, Otto was transferred to Emirates Park Zoo in 2016. He is now seven and half years old and one of the most popular residents of the zoo.

Najuma, who was born on October 25, 2016, grew up in Basel Zoo. Now Basel and Emirates Park Zoo teams worked together to bring the two together in the UAE. 

Hippos are notoriously territorial and can be very temperamental if they feel threatened. Given the immense work involved in transporting animals, the courtship between the two hippos needs to be carefully orchestrated so that they can get to know each other properly. Both of them are registered under Studbook and ZIMS and they will be housed separately initially and undergo a gradual introduction to develop a lasting bond. It is hoped that once they have connected, Emirates Park Zoo will soon be home to lots of little Hippos.

Keeping track

You can keep up to date with Najuma and how Otto is getting on via the Emirates Park social media channels or their website or head down for a visit. For details go to www.emiratespark.ae