Fruit, vegetables and songs mark 55th birthday of Thailand’s oldest hippo
CHONBURI (THAILAND) – Mae Mali, the oldest hippopotamus of Thailand, turned 55 on Tuesday. The hippo chomped on fruit and vegetables arranged in the shape of a cake while children and other visitors sang to celebrate her birthday.
Mae Mali means Mother Jasmine in Thai and the hippo was moved to Khao Kheow Open Zoo in eastern Thailand two years ago from another facility in Bangkok. The usual life expectancy of hippos is around 40 to 50 years.
“Mae Mali is now a grandma. We have been taking great care of her regarding her health, food, and environment,” said zoo director Attaporn Srihayrun.
She has given birth to several calves and her offspring now number 21 and they are in different zoos across Thailand.
“Mae Mali cannot reproduce anymore because she’s quite elderly. But we will still take great care of her so that she can become one of the longest living hippopotamus in the world,” said Attaporn.
In 2017, the oldest hippo in the Philippines, Bertha, died at the age of 65.
This January, another hippo named Lu celebrated his 60th birthday at a wildlife park in Florida, USA.