CLEVELAND — The animal kingdom has lost a record-setting hippo that lived in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced the oldest Nile hippopotamus in North America was euthanized Monday because of age-related ailments.
Blackie was estimated to be about 59 years old when he died.
That’s a long life considering most hippos live between 30-40 years in the wild, and sometimes a few years longer in captivity.
Blackie made Cleveland his home beginning in 1955 and generation after generation watched him grow.
He lived his final years in a special heated pool that was created just for him in 2008, where he floated around and ate lots of produce.
Blackie leaves behind three male hippos he sired.
Hippo populations are declining because of habitat loss and poaching. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the animal as “vulnerable.”