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Werribee Open Range Zoo

Tulip the hippo turns a sweet 16

1 January 2019

While the New Year celebrations have finished, the party’s just beginning at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Tulip the female hippopotamus celebrated her 16th birthday in style today – munching on an animal friendly array of fruits and vegetables shaped into hearts and the number “16”.

The toothsome hippo teenager was happy to share her New Year’s Day birthday treats with mum Primrose and sister Lotus. The close-knit trio spent the rest of the sunny day wallowing in the mud.

Keeper Yvette Pauligk said celebrating milestones with an enrichment activity was a great way to provide ongoing animal welfare.

“These enrichment events play a significant role in providing the best care possible for our animals,” Ms Pauligk said.

Sadly, hippos in the wild are listed as “Vulnerable” due to habitat loss, conflict with humans and a devastating poaching trade.

This conflict with humans and habitat loss has seen hippo numbers drop an astounding 95 per cent since the beginning of the 21st century.

Learn more about Tulip and her family during the Hippo Talk at 1:10pm at Werribee Open Range Zoo, open every day of the year.