47-year-old Hippo Dead at Seattle Zoo

SEATTLE, March 26 (UPI) — The oldest animal at a Seattle zoo, a 47-year-old female hippo, was put down by veterinarians due to age-related osteoarthritis, zoo officials said.

Woodland Park Zoo officials said Gertrude the hippopotamus was euthanized Wednesday after living at the zoo since 1966, longer than any other animal in the facility’s 110 years of operation, leaving behind fellow hippos Water Lily, 31, and Guadalupe, 10, The Seattle Times reported Friday.

Dr. Darin Collins, the zoo’s director of Animal Health, said the animal’s health had been declining during the past year due to the age-related degenerative joint disease, which is common among the elderly in many animals, including humans.

“We could no longer medically manage her pain, and we had to follow her cue that the quality of her life was becoming seriously compromised,” Collins said. “Therefore, we had to make the difficult, but humane, decision to euthanize her.”

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