Another Philadelphia Zoo Hippo Turns 25
By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the two hippopotami at the Philadelphia Zoo had a big birthday today.
Birthday girl Unna, who just turned 25, led the way to her pool party as she and her roommate, Cindy, went for a swim.
Cindy turned 25 earlier this year.
There was no cake, but melons were thrown into the water by zookeepers for a special hippopotamus birthday snack.
“We gave them some watermelons just a little bit ago, so they had a special treat that’s not something that we would normally give them, so they enjoyed that in their pool,” said Betsy Karkowski, the lead keeper of the African Plains exhibit (below). “The big excitement of it is that it floats, so they have to monkey around with it to be able to eat it.”
The hippos were also fed greens and apples to fill their big bellies.
A group of children from the zoo’s day camp sang “Happy Birthday” to Unna.
Among them was eight-year-old Thomas St. Joseph of Havertown, Pa., who says hippos are among his favorite zoo animals.
“They are herbivores,” he noted. “They mostly like water and they eat grass.”
Unna and Cindy have had 23 birthday celebrations at the Philadelphia Zoo; they both arrived here, from separate zoos, when they were two.
Unna’s birthday celebration at the zoo lasts through the weekend.