DC Zoo Evicting Hippo

'Happy' must move to make place for elephants
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 3, 2008 2:18 PM CDT
The teeth of hippos in captivity must be cut down to prevent them from getting too large.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – The National Zoo is adding a new elephant sanctuary, reports the Washington Post, and the move is putting its sole Nile hippopotamus, Happy, out on the street in a year or so. The zoo will hold onto its pygmy hippos, but is more committed to Asian elephant programs. "You only have so much space available. We don't have a strong hippopotamus program right now," said a zoo spokesman.

The 7,000 pound male was born at the zoo 27 years ago, and the move is devastating his longtime keeper, who has been feeding Happy lettuce and picking up on every nuance in his eyes since 1995. "Miss him ain't the word," he said, "I hate talking about it because I get too emotional." (Read more zoo stories.)