Taichung Court re­scinds fine on dead hippo owner

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Taichung High Ad­min­is­tra­tive Court has re­cently re­voked a city gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to fine the owner of a hip­popota­mus that died late last year in two ac­ci­dents.

The court ruled that the city gov­ern­ment had no valid rea­son to fine the owner of A He, whose death caused the na­tion to re­flect on how dis­play an­i­mals are treated in Tai­wan.

Af­ter the death of the hippo last De­cem­ber, the owner, sur­named Chang, was fined NT$ 500,000 ( US$ 15,800) for neg­li­gence by the Taichung city gov­ern­ment based on the An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion Act.

Chang brought a law­suit against the city gov­ern­ment af­ter his ap­peal against the fine was re­jected.

Chang then brought the case to the ad­min­is­tra­tive court, which ruled on Sept. 24 that Chang did not abuse or harm the an­i­mal on pur­pose and so the city gov­ern­ment should re­verse its ear­lier de­ci­sion.

The hippo, which be­longed to a leisure farm named Skyzoo in the cen­tral mu­nic­i­pal­ity, jumped from a mov­ing truck in Miaoli on Dec. 26, 2014, sus­tain­ing in­juries.

The zoo man­age­ment tried to send A He to a pond for re­cu­per­a­tion the next day. But A He fell sev­eral me­ters into the pond as the ropes car­ry­ing the con­tainer hold­ing it cracked, hurt­ing it a sec­ond time.

A He was found dead on Dec. 29 in the pond. An au­topsy later con­firmed it died from a torn di­aphragm.

Taipei Zoo, which per­formed the au­topsy, said there is a 30-40 cen­time­ter rup­ture on the right side of the hippo’s di­aphragm which caused a lung to slip from the chest cav­ity to the ab­dom­i­nal cav­ity.

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