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TOLEDO, OH (Press Release) -
The Toledo Zoo is sad to
report that Bubbles, its 58-year-old female hippo, was euthanized today due to
complications of advanced age.
One of three hippos at the
Toledo Zoo, Bubbles was estimated to be the oldest female Nile hippopotamus in
any zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA estimates a
hippo's mean life expectancy at 36 years.
"Bubbles was an iconic animal who had been a part
of the Toledo Zoo longer than any person currently on staff," Jeff Sailer,
executive director of the Zoo, said. "During her 57 years here, three
generations of families included her in their trips to the Zoo -- more than 20
million people just in the last 20 years."
Born at the Philadelphia
Zoo in October, 1954, Bubbles came to the Toledo Zoo in September, 1955. She
spent her first 31 years at the Zoo's former elephant house (now the African
Lodge) before moving to the new, world-renowned Hippoquarium®
in 1986. This exhibit featured the world's first filtered underwater viewing of
hippos, offering clearer underwater viewing of the animals than zoo visitors
had been able to enjoy previously.
In 1987, Bubbles made headlines with the birth of
her calf, Puddles, who was born in the Hippoquarium®
(during regular Zoo hours, no less). This was the first time anyone in the
world had seen or filmed an underwater hippo birth. Bubbles successfully raised
a total of 11 calves while at the Zoo.
"Most of the visitors who saw Bubbles would never
have had a chance otherwise to see a hippo up close," Jeff Sailer, executive
director of the Zoo, said. "She had a long, productive life and inspired awe
among the countless people whose lives she touched."