All I Want for Christmas . . . is a Hippo Home

The top stories in the news this morning all focus around Hazina the hippo’s continuing lack of a new home. [News 1130, CBC News]

Even despite the $10,000 paycheque from TELUS for Hazina’s holiday acting performance, earmarked to speed along the creation of adequate facilities for the young hippo, the Greater Vancouver Zoo still hasn’t followed through, but claims the new habitat is due to be completed next month.

The SPCA claims that the completion of the new facility doesn’t excuse the zoo from the 19 months of inadequate housing the baby hippo has had so far, which have contributed to weak knees and joints in the hippo due to having to support her full weight in a wading pond too shallow to float in. Hazina has also suffered loneliness from being the only hippo at the zoo. The SPCA considers the premature deaths of four previous hippos at the zoo to be an indication that something needs to change and that the zoo’s list of excuses has run out.

There’s no information so far if or when the hippo will be removed from the zoo, pending the outcome of the charges.

What do you think? Should the SPCA have waited the one more month until the new hippo habitat is complete?

On the other hand, should the SPCA have said something two years ago, when the zoo was arranging to adopt the hippo without adequate facilities in the first place? Or even earlier with the deaths of the previous animals?

If the zoo is fined, is this better or worse for the hippo in the long run? If the hippo is taken from the zoo, where should she be sent?

4 Comments so far

  1. Ariane (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 9:45 am

    awww, send the poor thing to somewhere there are other hippos! how sad.

    (ps. i am biased due to a childhood obsession with hippos)

  2. Jonathon Narvey (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

    On behalf of the Hippo Action League for Truth (HALT), I give a warning to those everywhere who would mistreat hippopopotami anywhere.

    We can run 30 mph over short distances and our 115 decibel bellow can really, really hurt your ears. Also, while we don’t actually eat humans, we have no reservations about stomping on those that would keep us penned up in a dark enclosure in solitary confinement for nearly two years.

    Watch your back.

  3. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

    Jonathan, hippos may not eat humans, but they’re still surprisingly adept at killing them.

    Hippos: the killer animals with surprisingly good PR.

  4. Matt (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    No doubt. The first time someone told me that hippopotamuses kill more humans than any other animal (other humans not included), I thought, “Surely he means rhinoceroses and not hippopotamuses.”

    But it’s true. Apparently rowing a boat too near a young hippopotamus means almost certain attack, and if not the end of you, then at least the end of your boat.

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