CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo says the father of its famous baby hippo, Fiona, has died at age 36.
The zoo says Henry had been struggling with health issues for months and lost hundreds of pounds. The zoo says the hippo had been in obvious decline the past few days and that staffers decided to euthanize Henry on Tuesday after concluding that the animal’s quality of life wouldn’t improve.
The zoo says the average life expectancy for a Nile hippopotamus such as Henry is 35 years.
Henry’s decline came after Fiona became a social media sensation. Fiona was born six weeks early, but survived and thrived.
Henry had mated with 18-year-old Bibi at the zoo.
Zoo officials have said they are grateful for the community’s support during “the toughest of times.”
FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, file photo, Henry, a Nile Hippopotamus, rests in his newly built Hippo Cove enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Cincinnati. The father of Fiona, who herself became a popular sensation after surviving a six-week premature birth, was euthanized at the zoo Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, morning after suffering from a chronic illness. Zookeepers say he repeatedly lost his appetite, and he hadn't responded to treatments for an internal infection. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE - In this July 11, 2017, file photo, provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Fiona, a baby Nile hippopotamus, born prematurely Jan. 24, 2017, swims outside for the first time with her father Henry, right, as her mother Bibi, left, watches in the pool of the zoo's Hippo Cove exhibit in Cincinnati. The zoo said Henry died at age 36 after struggling with health issues for months and lost hundreds of pounds after repeatedly losing his appetite. Staffers decided to euthanize him Tuesday, Oct. 31, after concluding that his quality of life wouldn't improve.
(Michelle Curley/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)