World's oldest hippo dies at 62

August 3, 2012
A hippo swims in a park zoo in El Salvador. Donna, believed to be the world's oldest hippo, has died at the age of 62 after living more than two decades beyond the massive mammal's usual life expectancy, zoo officials said.

Donna, believed to be the world's oldest hippo, has died at the age of 62 after living more than two decades beyond the massive mammal's usual life expectancy, zoo officials said.

Donna had lived most of her life in the small town of Evansville, Indiana at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.

"It is with great sadness for us to announce that Donna, the world's oldest living Nile hippopotamus in captivity, was humanly euthanized this morning due to her declining quality of life caused by her debilitating severe arthritis," zoo director Amos Morris said in a statement Wednesday.

Donna was born at what is now the Memphis Zoo in 1951 and arrived at Mesker Park on August 7, 1956.

She had eight offspring with her mate Kley and had lived at the zoo longer than any of the current staff have worked there.

Hippos typically live no more than 40 years in the wild and about 50 years in captivity.

Explore further: Endangered gopher frogs bred in zoo

Related Stories

Endangered gopher frogs bred in zoo

April 8, 2008

Tennessee's Memphis Zoo says it has successful started the first captive breeding program for endangered Mississippi gopher frogs.

Australian zoo probes mystery rhino deaths

March 21, 2012

An Australian outback zoo was Wednesday investigating the sudden and mystifying deaths of four white rhinos who showed "neurologic abnormalities" like stumbling.

Recommended for you

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.