Australia’s oldest hippopotamus, ‘Brutus’, has died at the Adelaide Zoo.
One of the zoo’s most popular residents, 54-year-old Brutus had lived there for 45 years.
On Thursday, the zoo’s keepers made the tough decision to put him down. Due to his old age, it was feared his health conditions would cause immense discomfort through the coming winter.
“We will miss Brutus greatly,” the zoo said in a statement.
“However, the good news is that Brutus’ legacy lives on. Brutus is survived by two hippos, his granddaughter Brindabella and great granddaughter Pansy, both of whom reside at Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria.”
His companion, Susie, was the country’s second-oldest hippo and the world’s oldest female hippo, until she passed away back in 2017. The two produced 17 offspring.
Hippos typically live between 40 and 50 years. Suffice to say, Brutus had a good innings. The record for the oldest hippo in captivity is 61.
Born on 18 May 1965, Brutus spent the early years of his life in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo before moving to Adelaide Zoo in 1975.
Brutus always looked forward to his daily teeth-cleaning. According to the zoo, his favourite foods were lucerne, pumpkin and carrots, so that’s exactly what they made his birthday cakes out of.
Now that the zoo’s last Nile hippo is gone, it marks the end of an era. He’s now looking down on us from the big river in the sky.
Rest in peace, king.