IPOH – A hippopotamus couple, Jiwang and Juwita, were ‘married’ in a simple wedding ceremony at the Hippo Kingdom at the Lost World of Tambun (LWOT), here yesterday.
The union of 10-year-old Jiwang, who weighs a tonne, and Juwita, 21, who weighs 1.4 tonnes, took place in a Malay-theme ceremony attended by 100 guests, complete with the ‘kompang’, ‘bunga manggar’ and several wedding gift trays.
The ‘groom’ Jiwang suddenly got cold feet and ran away towards the lake as soon as the bride appeared at the entrance. However, the couple finally met.
The guests who attended the wedding complied with the standard operating procedure (SOP), and they were given ‘bunga telur’ as a door gift, besides being served with a variety of dishes such as ‘nasi minyak’, ‘ayam masak merah’, deep-fried prawns in spices, lamb curry, ‘ikan percik’, pickles and dessert.
LWOT general manager Nurul Nuzairi Mohd Azahari said that the park had made various preparations for the ceremony since November last year, as it was not an easy task.
“We have also been searching for a mate for Juwita since she was brought to LWOT for the past five years. It has not been easy for us to find one because the male hippo cannot be from the same genetic pool, fearing it would cause the offspring to be born deformed or unable to survive,” Nurul Nuzairi said at a press conference after the wedding.
For the record, Juwita was from Gaborone, Bostwana, Africa and migrated to Malaysia in 2001. She has lived in LWOT since then.
Meanwhile, Jiwang is an alpha hippo who was transferred from a zoo in Pahang in January 2021. After three months Juwita finally learned to accept Jiwang.