Harry the Hippo dies

2012-05-10 10:32
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Remembering Harry the Hippo

Prince Harry, the adorable Pygmy hippo from Cango Wildlife Ranch outside Outdshoorn who won hearts across the world, has sadly passed away after a routine operation went wrong. He was a month and a bit old.

The little pygmy hippo that grabbed the world’s attention earlier this year has sadly passed away.

Harry, the tiny Pygmy hippo weighed in at healthy 5.1 kg when delivered to proud parents Hilda and Herbert at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn. According to reports Harry died unexpectedly during a routine operation to repair an umbilical hernia, which if not removed it had the potential to cause gut strangulation.

“We received expert advice that it was better for him to get the operation done while he was still young. An hour into the operation while under anaesthesia, he went into respiratory arrest and ultimately died of heart failure. They tried numerous times to resuscitate him, but he never woke up. It was a routine procedure and we didn’t expect him to die… but these things happen. Our hearts are breaking.”

According to Zoo Borns The Pygmy Hippopotamus' wild population is classified as critically endangered. There are fewer than 3000 left in the wild. They hail from West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

“In his short life, he has managed to raise much-needed awareness for his species and their plight in the wild, and Cango Wildlife Ranch will continue to fly the flag of awareness for this species in his honour,” said Moult.
At birth Harry’s mom Hilda Refused to feed the little guy. He needed to be hand fed five feeds of about two litres of a mixture of milk and water a day every three hours. Straight after feeding he was given a warm bath to keep his skin moist. He stayed in a special heat-controlled room where he enjoyed cuddling up with his blanket. He died weighing a healthy 13kg.

Toni Inggs, Harry’s caregiver who had been responsible for the pint-sized hippo since his birth, had taken leave from work because she was traumatised by Harry’s death.

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