New Hippo - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/22/07 - Lufkin

New Hippo

by Tashun Chism

It took a lot of chains and even a forklift but the newest addition to the Ellen Trout Zoo has now been unloaded. Jazzy: a 4-year-old female hippo on loan from the san diego zoo.

"I was surprised at how friendly looking she is. This is probably the friendliest looking, best looking, and prettiest hippo I have ever seen," said Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden.

Jazzy was brought in after the zoo's male hippo, Pancho, died suddenly earlier this year.

"He was a very special animal that had a lot of charisma. He will be truly missed and loved. So we can't replace him but from what we understand, Jazzy has a lot of personality," said Ellen Trout Zoo hippo keeper Lisa Green.

Jazzy is here to add her charisma to an already popular hippo exhibit. The Ellen Trout Zoo is one of only five zoos in the country whose hippo exhibit has underwater viewing.

"On land, hippos just don't look very graceful. Everyone knows the cartoon about the ballerina hippo, but when you see them under water, you get to see how graceful they really can be," Green said.

Zoo officials say they're grateful the San Diego Zoo loaned them Jazzy. And they want the staff in San Diego to know Jazzy is in good hands here in Lufkin.

"It'll be nice for San Diego to know that she's coming to a town that loves hippos and keepers that loves hippos and a zoo that has a big history with hippos."

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