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Diaphragm injury responsible for hippo's death (update)

Diaphragm injury responsible for hippo's death (update)

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) An autopsy confirmed Monday that A He, the hippo that first jumped from a moving truck and later fell several meters, died from a torn diaphragm. The Taipei Zoo, which performed the autopsy, said there was a 30-40 centimeter rupture on the right side of the hippo's diaphragm, which caused a lung to slip from the chest cavity to the abdominal cavity. Zoo spokesman Tsao Hsien-shao said the rupture may have occurred when the 1,190-kilogram A He was first injured on Friday, but the problem was ignored because it was hard to detect. Tsao explained that it is difficult for X-rays to produce comprehensive results on large-sized mammals, and the X-rays and other tests done indicated that A He had not suffered from a fracture or hemorrhage, according to the zoo. The 32-year-old A He, which belonged to a private leisure farm in Taichung, was found dead early Monday morning in a pond where it had been given shelter since Saturday to recuperate from a series of injuries suffered on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27. Learning about A He's death, its keeper Tai Wen-chung said he felt extremely sad as he has taken care of the hippo the past two years. The last time Tai interacted with A He, which he described as his best friend, was 3 a.m. Monday, when it looked up at him. A He was a good-tempered animal and friendly to keepers, tourists, and even other animals around it, Tai said, defending the Skyzoo recreational farm in Taichung against accusations that it abused animals. On Friday, A He jumped from a truck and broke one of its legs while being transported from a temporary shelter in Miaoli County back to the recently renovated farm, the animal's home for eight years. The hippo suffered yet another fall Saturday as it was being moved to the 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. The Agriculture Bureau of Taichung City said it has already fined the farm NT$500,000 (US$15,800) for negligence. The bureau also said it will send personnel to inspect the farm every day for a week to make sure it has made improvements to parts of its facility that were found substandard. Before those problems get fixed, the bureau said, it will continue fining the farm, adding that it will ask experts from National Chung Hsing University to thoroughly inspect it on Wednesday and offer management advice. Based on that advice, the farm will have to make a proposal on improving the living conditions and welfare of its animals within a certain period of time. (By Huang Yi-han, Y.F. Low, Wesley Holzer and Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-06-25 21:35 GMT+08:00