Faith no more: Auck­land Zoo loses hippo

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Auck­land Zoo’s last re­main­ing hippo, Faith, has died.

The 41-year-old hip­popota­mus had been un­well for a few days and was put to sleep on Tues­day, zoo spokes­woman Jane Healy said.

Faith had been ex­hibit­ing signs of signs of fa­tal haem­or­rhagic res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease, or bleed­ing in the lung, and a pre­lim­i­nary au­topsy con­firmed Faith suf­fered from the dis­ease.

A short state­ment from the zoo said the dis­ease is a ter­mi­nal con­di­tion and euthana­sia was the only op­tion.

Faith also had other agere­lated is­sues such as arthri­tis and den­tal dis­ease.

Faith was a ‘‘dearly loved mem­ber’’ of the zoo fam­ily, the state­ment said.

‘‘Our thoughts go out to all our staff, vol­un­teers and ev­ery­one who loved Faith - es­pe­cially our in­cred­i­ble team of Pride­lands keep­ers who cared for her and en­riched ev­ery day of her long life.’’

Faith’s death comes just months af­ter that of her 28-yearold son, Fudge. He died in March af­ter a short ill­ness.

Both hip­pos were born at the zoo - Faith in 1975 and Fudge in 1988. The av­er­age life-span of a hippo is 40-50 years.

Healy said zoo staff would not know if the deaths were re­lated un­til Faith’s post-mortem was car­ried out.

‘‘She was a grand old lady. It’s still raw,’’ she said.

The hippo enclosure re­mained closed on Wed­nes­day.

Faith, Auck­land Zoo’s 41-year-old hippo, was put down on Tues­day.

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