Thailand’s Oldest Hippopotamus Celebrates 55th Birthday In Zoo

Mae Mali the hippo has already outlived the typical life expectancy of 40 to 50 years for her species.

Sohil Nikam

September 10, 2020

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The Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Eastern Thailand celebrated the 55th birthday of the country’s oldest living hippopotamus as children and other visitors sang to the river animal. A special cake made from tropical fruits and vegetables was prepared for the hippo, named Mae Mali, which means Mother Jasmine in Thai. “Mae Mali is now a grandma. We have been taking great care of her health, food, and environment,” said zoo director Attaporn Srihayrun.

After giving birth to several calves over her lifetime, Mae Mali now has twenty-one descendants residing across zoos in the Southeast Asian country. “Mae Mali cannot reproduce anymore because she’s quite elderly. But we will still take great care of her so that she can become one of the longest living hippopotamus in the world,” Attaporn added. The average lifetime of a hippopotamus is believed to be around 40 to 50 years. In Thailand’s neighbouring Philippines, Bertha, considered to be the oldest hippopotamus in captivity at the time, died at age 65 in 2017.

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