News Release: Zoo Hippopotamus Dies

News Release:

On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 Pancho the Zoo's male hippopotamus passed away after a short illness. Pancho had started showing signs of gastrointestinal distress Thursday. He refused to eat or drink and was unable to defecate. After consulting with several other zoos, staff began working with Pancho, not knowing if he was simply constipated or something more serious.

On Tuesday evening, with five staff members present, including, staff veterinarian Dr. Mike Nance, Pancho collapsed in his pool, dying. Zoo personnel conducted a necropsy Wednesday to determine Pancho's cause of death. Pancho died of an obstructed intestine caused by a child's ball. How or when Pancho swallowed the ball is unknown.

Pancho came to the Ellen Trout Zoo on November 17, 2001 along with Nakili his mate. Pancho was born July 10, 1999 in Orlando, Florida. He is the father of the first hippopotamus born in Lufkin, Mara. Mara was born at the Ellen Trout Zoo on September 24, 2003. Pancho was a congenial hippo that loved his family and enjoyed the company of his keepers. He truly was a wonderful animal and will be sorely missed by his family, staff and visitors alike.