'Bureaucratic blunder' caused hippo's death, say zoo employees
DEHIWELA: The Dehiwela Zoo lost a female hippopotamus while the
animal was trying to give birth on Saturday morning, with a section of
employees blaming negligence by the authorities as the cause for the
The female hippopotamus had died in agony due to suffocation with the
lower part of the body of her new born getting stuck in the womb as
doctors severed the head in an attempt to save the animal as repeated
attempts at safe delivery failed.
But a section of the employees blamed higher authorities for the
incident saying that a conducive environment was not prepared for the
safe delivery and that wrong procedures had been practised due to lack
of knowledge. As a result, the Zoo had lost yet another rare animal due
to bureaucratic blunders, they charged.
The hippopotamus named Julia weighing at least two tons was brought
to Sri Lanka from the Singapore National Zoo in 1999.
She had later given birth to five calves during her nine year stay at
the Zoo. She is believed to be one of the surviving members of a rare
breed called grand hippopotamus.
Some employees said the authorities should be better equipped to
handle these rare breeds and the lack of knowledge had led to several
deaths in recent times.