Pygmy hippo kills antelope supposed for same enclosure at Grand Rapids zoo

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — John Ball Zoo’s new sitatunga, a swamp-dwelling antelope, has died following he was attacked by the Grand Rapids zoo’s pygmy hippo, Jahari.

In an interview with MLive/The Grand Rapids Push the morning of Tuesday, Could 16, John Ball Zoo Curator Tim Sampson reported zoo employees were being fired up to introduce the two animals to each other in the identical enclosure for the initially time later in the working day on Tuesday.

The new hippo show is established to open up to the public on June 2 for the duration of the zoo’s “Hippopalooza” occasion. The habitat was established to house two pygmy hippos, two European white storks and Chopper the sitatunga.

Chopper and Jahari, a male pygmy hippo from the Pittsburgh Zoo, have observed each individual other through a mesh barrier in advance of, but this was their initially time with entry to every single other.

Linked: Hippo road excursion: How John Ball Zoo transported its new pygmy hippo to Grand Rapids

“After prosperous visual introductions involving Chopper and the pygmy hippo in the course of the final month, qualified animal treatment team ended up trying a controlled introduction of our pygmy hippo with Chopper inside their habitat when the pygmy hippo out of the blue attacked Chopper,” said John Ball Zoo CEO Peter D’Arienzo in a published statement at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. “Zoo workers separated the animals promptly. Our animal care group provided crisis care, but attempts to resuscitate Chopper have been unsuccessful.”

D’Arienzo reported a whole overview of the incident is underway, per animal treatment protocols and techniques. He claimed the zoo has effectively introduced species quite a few situations and staff members was “thoroughly prepared for this introduction.”

“This unhappy incident reminds us that even with monumental cautionary measures taken by zoo staff members above the last many months, the conduct of wild animals can be unpredictable,” D’Arienzo explained. “We are deeply saddened by the reduction of Chopper, who was liked by all the employees that cared for him and who are right now grieving this reduction.”

Chopper was born June 25, 2016 at Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and expended time in San Diego Zoo Safari Park right before coming to John Ball Zoo previously this year.

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