Posted on 27th August 2019 by Media Relations
The team at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is saddened by the loss of one of its iconic residents, Happy the Hippo.
Happy recently passed away despite intensive veterinary intervention following keeper observations that he was unwell. A post-mortem revealed Happy passed away as a result of a bleed of an internal tumour on the lungs.
Happy was the first Hippo to be born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo back in 1985 and resided here in Dubbo for the duration of his life, siring four calves.
“Happy captured attention and inspired awe in hundreds and thousands of guests over his 33 years at the Zoo,” said Hippo Keeper, Carolene Magner.
Happy, with his companion Nile, was regularly part of the daily keeper talk at the Zoo, where keepers help to educate guests about Hippopotamus, their territorial nature in the wild and the unique attributes that make them so exceptional.
Happy was always keen to come up on to the beach and enjoy his midday meal, followed by a hose down from his keepers. This was part of the keeper talk that left guests in amazement of the relationship between him and his keepers, not to mention the size of his mouth and tusks!
“Happy was an animal that to work with required patience, time, trust building and consistency, but as a result he would allow keepers to teach him to open his mouth on cue and chose to participate in dental health care to file his tusks.”
“The keepers who worked closely alongside Happy are grateful and privileged to have been involved with him during his life at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” said Carolene.
Happy was a big character at the Zoo and will be sadly missed by staff, volunteers and the many guests who have seen him over the years.