The typical hippo only lives about 30 – 40 years. Blackie the Hippo, who is believed to be the oldest known hippo in North America, lived to the age of 59. Sadly, he had to be euthanized on Monday due to age related issues. Cleveland Metropark Zoo communications director Sue Allen spoke of the special care given to Blackie during his life. “He lived a good life. It was as testament to the care he was given. His needs were really attended to.”
Born on a Tarzanian game reserve, Blackie arrived at the Cleveland Zoo in 1955 when he just 1-year-old. The 3,700 pound male Nile hippopotamus has not been on exhibit since 2008. During his retirement years, Blackie lived a lush life with a heated pool and his very own digs. However, he was a popular attraction for a long time at the zoo where he had thousands of visitors spanning generations come to see him throughout the years. Some of his fans took to Twitter to express their condolences.
— Mark Vincent (@mraynervincent) January 15, 2014
RIP Blackie the hippo you will be missed.
— Chris Kaufmann (@kristoffersonn) January 15, 2014
In addition, many of Blackie’s fans responded to the Zoo’s post on their Facebook page announcing the hippo’s death. On Wednesday afternoon, the post had received over 700 shares and 150 comments.
Hopefully Blackie’s death will not attract the attention of PETA, who have been known in the past to find fault in an animal’s death. Blackie was euthanized because the veterinarians who were treating him believed that due to his advanced age, his pain and suffering were becoming too much for the hippo to handle.
Image via Facebook