20 Aug
  • By Aizhana Danabekova

The oldest hippo in captivity died at 59 in Jerusalem zoo

Tami, the oldest hippopotamus in captivity, passed away last week at the age of 59 in her sleep at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, announced the zoo. She died at advanced age, surrounded by lots of love and love. She was the only hippo at the zoo after the death of her partner Matti that died at 30 after swallowing a tennis ball. Though hippos have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years, the elderly Tami was not a record-holder. Bertha, a hippo living at the Manila Zoo in the Philippines, died in July 2017 at the ripe old age of 65. 

The zoo supervisors say that Tami enjoyed the authority of her neighbors in the African aviary – giraffes, rhinoceroses, and zebras. “This is sad news for all of us – employees and visitors,” reports the zoo. The Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, founded in 1939, contains more than 250 species of animals, with a focus on those who are mentioned in the Bible or live in Israel.


Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.  She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.