Bertha, the world’s oldest hippopotamus has died. The Manila zoo in Philippines made the announcement on Monday, the 10th of June, saying that the 65-year-old beat the typical lifespan for the mostly herbivorous mammals by decades.
Bertha was found dead on Friday in her enclosure, with a post mortem examination concluding that she had died from multiple organ failure.
Zoo director James Dichaves told AFP:
“Bertha was among the pioneer animals here. Her mate died sometime in the 1980s and the couple failed to produce any offspring.”
Dichaves said that Bertha arrived at the zoo in the Philippines’ capital at the age of seven, the year it opened in 1959. The zoo has lost the records of where she came from.
Fed a diet of grass, fruit, and bread, Bertha lived far beyond the 40 to 50 year lifespans which are typical for the species in the wild and in captivity respectively, Dichaves said.
Zoo officials believed Bertha was the oldest living hippo in captivity at the time of her death.