CINCINNATI, OH — Henry the hippo could really use some love right now.
It’s been a tough few months for the Cincinnati Zoo’s beloved behemoth.He’s lost his appetite, only to regain it and lose it again; fought off a serious infection; and his kidneys appear to be shutting down.
Veterinarians and care staff have been trying to bring him back to health, but he continues to slide.
The most telling lines in a blog post about Henry came Monday:
… for whatever reason, Henry’s body is not responding. The median life expectancy for male Nile hippos is 35. At 36 years old, our sweet Henry hippo is already in his golden years, and despite our best efforts, his health and quality of life continue to decrease each day. We’re doing everything we can to keep him comfortable.
Henry, maybe most famous for being Fiona’s father, is 36 years old. According to the zoo, the median life expectancy for a Nile hippo is 35. He came to Cincinnati from Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri.
His declining condition comes near the tail-end of a pretty joyous year for hippo staff. They nurtured Fiona into childhood after she born six weeks early and half a calf’s normal birth weight. The entire hippo bloat — Henry, Fiona and mother Bibi — were all reunited just a few months ago.
Fiona’s long journey made her an international sensation and brought the zoo a big dose of good-will after the death of beloved silverback Harambe last year.
As they now worry about Henry, the zoo team is “eternally grateful for the endless love and support you’ve shown us and our animals, especially through the toughest of times.”
You can visit the zoo’s blog to share some words of support.