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Springfield, Mo. – Dickerson Park Zoo staff, along with the staff at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, is mourning the passing of Henry the Hippo. Henry was 36 years old; the median life expectancy of a male Nile hippopotamus is 35.
Henry had been battling an infection for more than two months, and despite around-the-clock treatment from the veterinarian staff at the Cincinnati Zoo, his condition continued to deteriorate and he had lost a considerable amount of weight. Taking his quality of life into consideration, the decision to euthanize Henry, while difficult, was the humane thing to do.
Henry came to Dickerson Park Zoo in 1982 when he was seven months old and resided here for more than 30 years until moving to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in June of 2016.
“We are all saddened with Henry’s death. He was undoubtedly the most popular animal at Dickerson Park Zoo,” said Zoo Director Mike Crocker. “The outpouring of messages from social media, guests, letters and phone calls shows how much Henry meant to our community.”
Henry, along with female partner Bibi, went to Cincinnati as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program dedicated to the survival of endangered animals. Bibi soon became pregnant. Their daughter, Fiona, was born prematurely and has become a media sensation.
“It is important to remember that through the SSP, Henry left a legacy in Fiona. His bloodline has made a remarkable contribution to the future of the hippopotamus population,” said Crocker.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has issued a news release, available here and viewable here.
Dickerson Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.
For media inquiries, contact Joey Powell, Public Relations/Marketing Director for Friends of the Zoo, at 417-833-1570 (office) or 417-860-3303 (cell) or email Joey Powell, or visit dickersonparkzoo.org.