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article imageVideo: 'Crying' hippo that fell off zoo's truck dies

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 30, 2014 in Internet
Taichung - A hippo shown in a video clip that emerged online Friday, lying on the road "crying" tears of pain after he fell off the back of a truck transporting him to his home in a zoo in Taichung city, Taiwan, has died. The hippo died after he fell a second time.
According to reports, the "crying" hippo had panicked and jumped through the truck window while in transit back to the private Skyzoo Recreational Farm in central Taichung city, western Taiwan, from a temporary shelter in central Miaoli county.
The "crying" hippo jumped from the back of the truck and landed on a parked car before falling on the road. He broke a leg and a tooth in the fall.
According to the United Daily News, the truck driver said he saw the "crying" hippo "flying out" of the back of the truck. TV footage and photos snapped by witnesses showed the enormous male animal, called "A Ho," lying on the road after he jumped from the truck. The poor animal looked visibly in pain, with a white fluid streaming from his eyes, hence the report in the media that the hippo was "crying."
Tears stream down the agonized hippo s eyes
Tears stream down the agonized hippo's eyes
Despite his broken leg, A Ho made spirited attempts to get on his feet but could not.
 Crying  hippo struggles to get on its feet
"Crying" hippo struggles to get on its feet
The sound and unfamiliar sight of a gigantic hippo falling from a truck startled people. Some called the police reporting they had seen a "flying dinosaur" in the neighborhood.
A woman was quoted by local media saying that when she heard the crash of the animal falling off the truck she ran out of the house and saw a dinosaur lying on the road.
The stricken animal lay on the road for several hours before rescue workers from the Skyzoo Recreational Farm arrived and tried to hoist him back into the truck, according to the South China Morning Post.
As if the poor animal had not suffered enough, rescuers dropped him once again from a height of about two meters. The cable they used to try to lift him back into the truck broke; it was not strong enough to support the weight of the 1.8 ton beast.
The 32-year-old hippo suffered serious internal injuries when he fell a second time. He lay still on the ground, apparently dead, while rescue workers made another attempt to hoist him back into the truck.
 Crying  hippo lies helpless on the ground after falling
'Crying' hippo lies helpless on the ground after falling
A local official confirmed that he died from internal injuries sustained as a result of being dropped a second time. According to the official, when the hippo was returned to the temporary shelter in Miaoli County, zoo staff "put [him] into a pond in the temporary shelter... but sadly the 32-year-old animal died overnight as a result of his injuries. An autopsy showed that the internal damage caused a massive supply of toxins to be released into his blood resulting in death."
The "crying" hippo was confirmed dead on Monday morning after a worker at the shelter reported he had sunk to the bottom of his pond.
Medics at the Taipei City zoo who carried out the autopsy said that the shock of the second fall ruptured his diaphragm, causing his lungs to fall into his abdominal cavity.
A representative of a local animal welfare group, said, "The animal was not properly protected during the transportation process, leading to its injuries. What's worse, it had not received due medical treatment the last two days."
Taiwanese authorities said that the owner of the Skyzoo Farm could face a fine of up to US$2,400 for violating animal welfare regulations. He could also face a jail term of up to a year.
The incident has raised questions from animal welfare groups and animal lovers about the standard of care of animals in Taiwan's private zoos and the effectiveness of the country’s animal welfare laws. Taiwan reportedly has about 37 private zoos. The zoos, often referred to as "recreational farms," are very popular entertainment centers for the Taiwanese people.
 Crying  hippo being lifted back into the truck
'Crying' hippo being lifted back into the truck
The Wall Street Journal notes that although Taiwan’s laws require owners to obtain a permit for all animals used for entertainment purposes, the owners of the hippo never obtained a permit.
A spokesperson for a local animal welfare group, commented,"In Taiwan, we have laws and regulations aimed at protecting animals and livestock, but the execution implementation of these laws is often feeble."
Authorities said they have ordered the zoo to submit a detailed plan to improve the standard of care of animals. Activists have criticized the zoo in the past for its animal management standards.
The "crying" hippo was described as a "star attraction" at the Skyzoo Recreational Farm. He was moved to a temporary shelter in Miaoli County while his shelter at the zoo was being renovated. He fell off the truck and died while he was being transported back to the zoo.
According to the South China Morning Post, "crying" hippo's name, "A Ho," is derived from the Chinese word for a hippo, "Ho Ma."
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