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Blackie the hippo: Cleveland hippo euthanized at 59, oldest of its kind in U.S.

Blackie the hippo: Cleveland hippo euthanized at 59, oldest of its kind in U.S.
Blackie the hippo: Cleveland hippo euthanized at 59, oldest of its kind in U.S.
Flickr Images, Photo File

Blackie the hippo has died this week, though this Cleveland hippo is known for living to the impressive old age of 59. Reaching such a historic age left Blackie famous for not just being the oldest in the state, but the oldest of its kind in the entire U.S., yet word that it was euthanized has been distressing to some animal lovers. The Inquisitr tells the history of this noteworthy hippo and why he was put down this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.

The Cleveland hippo wasn’t born in local captivity, though he quickly became accustomed to it. Blackie was actually brought into this world far off on a game reserve in Tanzania, and was in fact brought over here to the U.S. back in the 1950s. Once transferred to the Cleveland zoo, Blackie the hippo lived a life of luxury that many animals could only dream of. He was able to enjoy everything from high quality food to heated pools, which experts believe contributed to his old age and long, healthy life for 59 years.

However, local veterinarians knew that the time of this beloved Cleveland hippo was coming to an end recently. According to the report, Blackie was starting to suffer from “a number of advanced age-related ailments,” and the hippo was thus euthanized. While the source has said that some serious animal supporters like PETA might be distressed at this, no major negative comment has been made at this point quite yet.

Nonetheless, the press release refers to an incident of a hippo death in India that may make the euthanizing of this Cleveland hippo a difficult one.

“For example, PETA was incensed by a hippo death in India, claiming the conditions of the zoo were at fault, and they insisted the “people who are responsible for this must be answerable.” PETA also wanted the Denver zoo investigated for the death of another hippo named Hazina, and the organization strongly objects to the very act of keeping animals in captivity.”

“In their zeal to breed animals in captivity, instead of protecting them in the wild, the zoos have cost yet another animal her life. We can’t bring Hazina back, but the USDA must hold the Denver Zoo accountable for any violations of the Animal Welfare Act that led to her prolonged suffering and, ultimately, her death.”

Animal health experts and zoo veterinarians said that Blackie the hippo was just beginning to suffer the pain and issues that living to such an old age would have brought him if he wasn’t put down.