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Beloved hippopotamus euthanized in Cleveland

Earlier this month, the world's most well-known hippopotamus was euthanized due to complications of his old age. He was an unbelievable 59 years old, easily setting the record for the oldest Nile hippopotamus ever documented.

The Nile hippo (Hippopotamus amphibious) is one of five subspecies of the Common hippo.  Before declining numbers, the Nile stretched from Egypt south up the Nile River to Tanzania and Mozambique.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

He was born on a game reserve in Tanzania and brought to America at one year's old in the 1950's. Named Blackie, he resided at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo where he sired three male hippos.

According to Joe Yachanin, Marketing Director and Public Relations of the Cleveland Zoo, the destiny of the three male hippos are as follows:

  • One was born in 1974 and passed away in 1975 at ten months old while still residing at the Cleveland zoo.
  • One was born in 1975 and moved to the Philadelphia Zoo in 1977.
  • One born in 1981 moved to International Animal Exchange the same year.

Prized as a rarity and main attraction, Blackie was pampered with healthy hippo foods and later with heated pools custom built for his comfort alone. When he started to have old-age related ailments, the decision was made to keep him from living his last days with suffering.

Zoo officials stated:

"He lived out his last several years contentedly eating copious amounts of produce and floating lazily in a pool he didn't have to share."

See Blackie on youtube, click here.

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