Dallas Zoo devastated by sudden loss of male hippo Adhama

Adhama’s sudden passing has shaken the Dallas Zoo family.

Dallas Zoo is saddened to announce that 7-year-old male hippo Adhama passed away suddenly on Tuesday evening.

The hippo keepers and our veterinary team had been monitoring Adhama’s health since late last week, after observing some lethargy and a diminished appetite. Adhama spent Monday and Tuesday behind the scenes under observation and resting, but there was nothing to indicate a serious issue. After hours on Tuesday evening, keepers observed via closed-circuit video that Adhama seemed to be non-responsive, and our animal care team responded immediately. Unfortunately, the team found that he had passed away suddenly with no external signs of stress or trauma.

Preliminary findings from the veterinary team indicate severe enteritis, which is an acute inflammation of the intestine. According to the veterinary team, given the condition of Adhama’s organs and his fat reserves, this does not appear to have been a long-term illness. The team is continuing to study the situation to learn more, but given the lack of significant symptoms, the team is confident there’s nothing they would have done differently.

Adhama arrived at the Dallas Zoo in 2017, when we opened the Simmons Hippo Outpost.

“From the time he arrived here at the Dallas Zoo, Adhama captivated us all with his curious nature and larger-than-life personality. He was a wonderful ambassador as we opened our Simmons Hippo Outpost and reintroduced hippos to Dallas last year,” said Gregg Hudson, President and CEO of the Dallas Zoo. “Our entire team is understandably shaken, given the suddenness of Adhama’s passing. Please keep our entire staff in your thoughts during this difficult time.”

Adhama and Boipelo came to the Dallas Zoo in March 2017 (from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Albuquerque Zoo, respectively), ahead of the opening of the Zoo’s Simmons Hippo Outpost in April. These two hippos were matched on a breeding recommendation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

The two quickly bonded and became an adorable pair, enjoying lounging together on the habitat’s sand beach or taking naps in the 120,000-gallon pool.

“We know so many people in our extended Zoo family share in our sadness since we have enjoyed watching Adhama and Boipelo as their personalities and relationship developed over these last 18-plus months,” said Hudson.

Boipelo gave birth to a calf in February 2018, but the calf did not survive. The hippo keepers report that Boipelo is subdued in the initial hours since Adhama’s passing. The team is focused on ensuring she is maintaining as much of a routine as possible in spite of the loss of her mate. She will be given access to the habitat starting today, but the Zoo staff will follow her lead on her day-to-day availability.

The Zoo will continue to provide updates as more information is available.

Categories: Africa, Hippo, Simmons Hippo Outpost | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Dallas Zoo devastated by sudden loss of male hippo Adhama

  1. Christie Rodriguez

    So very heartbroken to hear this. So sorry for you loss. They made a great pair. I just hope Boipelo can handle more loss. Poor thing.

  2. Tashl2@aol.com

    So sorry to hear this news. Prayers are sent your way.

  3. Dorothy Lockett& Tiffany Napolitano

    So very sad

  4. Janna

    My family sends our most sincere condolences on the loss of Adhama. As fellow Los Angeles transplants to Dallas he held a special place in our hearts. We so enjoyed visiting him at both the LA and Dallas zoos. He wil be greatly missed.

  5. Adele Ichilian

    Thinking of all of you wonderful people that work so hard to keep our precious animals safe and happy. Such a huge loss for everyone, including Adhama’s many fans, especially the children. Hopefully the veterinary team can learn something from the necropsy that help them and other zoos in the future. Hugs to each of you.

  6. Roxanne Roderick

    We saw him just a few months ago. I am so sorry to see this. I’m sure this had to be quite a shock.

  7. Sheri Franklin

    Praying for his companion hippo and all the zookeepers and staff that work with the animals everyday 💓

  8. eric loeser

    last time me and my wife had seen him he was getting frisky. so sad :`(
    its truly a sad day!

  9. Geneva Alcala

    We are heartbroken along with you! My 9yr old was so excited when hippos returned! Know yall do what’s best!

  10. Brianna maley

    As a dallas zoo member for the past few years it breaks my heart when we loose a part of the zoo family. I go at least once a month and it’s a joy to get to know staff and animals alike. My heart goes out to everyone at dallas zoo.

  11. Willis Family

    Our condolences for the loss. The kids are very sad. He will be missed.

  12. Midnight

    My heart is broken with this sad news.

  13. Janet Beidelman

    I am so sorry to hear Adhama’s passing. He will be greatly missed.

  14. Lynne & Kevin Beard

    My husband and I send our sincere condolences to the hippo keepers and veterinary staff in the sudden loss of Adhama. We are heartbroken and will greatly miss this gentle giant. Please know that we grieve with all of you and especially hippo keepers, Kristine and Kristina.

  15. Patricia McClead

    So sorry to hear about his death. Praying for all who will be missing Adhama.

  16. Matthew Murphy

    I am so sad for you.

  17. Mandy

    So sorry for your loss, I really enjoyed watching him and Boipelo such a great addition to the zoo. Thank you for caring and keeping all the zoo animals safe.

  18. joseph deems

    So sad one of our favorites when he was born at the San Diego Zoo.

  19. Pat Hammock

    I am so sorry and sad to hear about Adhama! My heart goes out especially to those who worked so closely with him!

  20. Nancy P Vasquez

    So sad to hear this news…the hippos are our favorite animal for me and my grandson..

  21. Josh

    I remember Adhama when he was at the Los Angeles Zoo with Mara and their daughter Rosie. This is devestating to hear. He may be gone, but his spirit lives on.

  22. Pilar Valderrama

    Devastating news, my heart is broken…

  23. Lyn James

    Oh my sweet Boopie. I miss you so much, here in Albuquerque. Last thing I promised you was that you would like Adhama (one native Californian speaking of another). See, I was right! (just never thought of this).You have lost so much and you have such a sweet, loving heart. I hope you get a new mate soon and that you create your own family. Until then, know I think of you all the time (some exotics you just have a special connection with) and am sending you lots of watermelons to smash. 😢

  24. Sarah

    Oh my sweet boy Adhama! I watched you grow up from a baby in San Diego, got to see you be a surprise but gentle dad to Rosie in Los Angeles & was hoping you’d live a long life in Dallas. My heart is sad to hear of your passing, but i’ll send some extra love Rosie’s way next time I see her. RIP sweet boy. 💔

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