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Hippo A He dies from injuries (update)

Hippo A He dies from injuries (update)

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) A hippopotamus in Taichung has died apparently from injuries sustained when it jumped from a moving truck and later fell a second time while suspended mid-air last week, workers said Monday. The two-ton hippo named A He was found dead early Monday morning in a pond where it has been given temporary shelter since Saturday, the workers said. A preliminary examination by veterinarians shows that the animal may have died from toxins in the blood caused by intestinal problems as a result of the injuries, according to Taichung's Agriculture Bureau. An autopsy will be performed on the hippo to determine the cause of the death, the bureau said. Zoologist Tsao Hsien-shao said the hippo, which has been reported to be 32 years old, might have succumbed to injuries due to its age. A hippo that is well taken care of in a zoo can live for over 30 years, Tsao said. Last Friday, A He made headlines after it jumped from a truck, breaking one of its legs, while it was being transported from a temporary shelter in Miaoli to the Skyzoo recreational farm in Taichung, where it has been kept for eight years. It suffered yet another fall Saturday as it was being moved to a pond for treatment. The accident occurred when a cable on a hoist broke and the container in which the hippo was being transported crashed to the ground from a height of 2 meters. A He's owner could face up to a year behind bars as well as fines under animal protection laws, according to the Council of Agriculture. Chu Ching-cheng, deputy head of the council's Department of Animal Industry, said Taichung's city government could press the charges of animal abuse. The owner is liable for a fine of between NT$100,000 (US$3,151) to NT$500,000 for A He's injuries in the first incident, not to mention the second incident and its death, according to Chu. There are currently 37 legally operating leisure farms like Skyzoo that feature animal exhibits across Taiwan, according to the council. The sad death of A He comes just days after animal rights groups demanded better treatment of animals at petting zoos and ranches. They named Skyzoo among the 10 worst offenders. (By Liao Jen-kwei, Y.F. Low and Wesley Holzer)


Updated : 2020-12-04 07:48 GMT+08:00