Dublin Zoo Welcomes New Hippo


Dublin Zoo Welcomes New Hippo

Laura Donnelly
Laura Donnelly

01:07 2 May 2024

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Dublin Zoo has welcomed a hippo called Ernie.

The 20 year old has arrived from a safari park in England.

He'll be introduced to the zoo's resident hippo, Heidi, soon.

It says visitors will be able to see Ernie very soon, as he settles into his new home.

Dublin Zoo says: "Ernie, who is aged 20, arrived from the West Midlands Safari Park in England and is settling in very well. He will be introduced to Heidi, aged 23, in the coming weeks.

"Heidi is already showing great interest in Dublin Zoo’s newest arrival. Visitors can now expect to see Ernie’s inquisitive and active nature as he explores the pool and wanders around his new home.

"Hippopotamuses are one of the heaviest animals on earth, sometimes weighing up to three and a half tonnes. Hippopotamuses are known as a semi-aquatic animal which means they can spend time on land and in the water.

 "These animals are mostly found across Sub-Saharan Africa in shallow lakes, rivers and swamps. They have many adaptations for their specific lifestyles, including walking and leaping along the waterbed. They are often visible only by their eyes, ears and nostrils, helping them stay alert while submerged in the water."


Helen Clarke, team leader at Dublin Zoo says: “We are thrilled to welcome Ernie to the African Plains at Dublin Zoo.

"It has been great to see Heidi taking such an interest in him already and we know visitors will enjoy seeing Ernie grazing in his outdoor habitat and enjoying the indoor pool.

"Hippopotamuses have always been popular with visitors at Dublin Zoo, and we look forward to hearing their unique honking and grunting across the African Plains." 

Hippopotamuses are currently listed as vulnerable, classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The main threats to this species are poaching, hunting, agriculture and building developments as well as climate change, causing drought in the areas they live in.

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