San Diego Zoo river hippo with degenerative illness dies: ‘Otis will be greatly missed’

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SAN DIEGO – A 45-year-old river hippopotamus named Otis has died after wildlife crews at the San Diego Zoo said Monday that his condition “dramatically declined” over the weekend.

The zoo announced that Otis, who was receiving care for a degenerative joint and spinal disease, was euthanized in a “difficult” decision following an examination. He was one of three hippos living in the zoo’s Lost Forest exhibit along with female Funani and their female calf Amahle, the zoo’s website shows.

Originating in East Africa, Otis was brought to the zoo in 2009 in order to breed with Funani, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Otis will be greatly missed by wildlife care staff, veterinarians, volunteers, and guests,” the zoo said in a statement on Twitter. “Please take a moment to offer your condolences to all those who are feeling this loss.”

Amahle, born in February 2020, was the ninth offspring between Otis and Funani, the Union-Tribune reported. The other eight calves are living at other institutions.

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