Birthday celebration as Thailand's oldest hippo, Mae Mali, turns 55

Birthday celebration as Thailand's oldest hippo, Mae Mali, turns 55

Fifty-five-year-old Mae Mali, the oldest hippo in Thailand, snacks on her birthday cake at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri on Tuesday. (Photo: @thailandzoo, the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand Facebook page)
Fifty-five-year-old Mae Mali, the oldest hippo in Thailand, snacks on her birthday cake at Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri on Tuesday. (Photo: @thailandzoo, the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand Facebook page)

CHON BURI: A large crowd gathered in Khao Kheow Open Zoo on Tuesday for a special activity to celebrate the 55th birthday of Thailand's oldest and much-loved hippopotamus Mae Mali, or Mother Mali.

Zoo director Atthaporn Sriheran said staff prepared a birthday cake made of fruit and vegetables for the popular hippo.

As Mae Mali emerged from her large pond enclosure, a crowd of jostling visitors joined zoo officials in singing "Happy Birthday". With a bit of encouragement, the star of the day found and began eating her birthday cake, drawing cries of delight from the crowd.

Mae Mali had been a big draw at Dusit Zoo in Bangkok before it was closed down to make way for royal projects. She was moved to Khao Kheow Open Zoo on Dec 18, 2018.

The old hippo turned 55 this year and remains in excellent health, according to veterinarians tending her, although age has slowed her down.  

Tilburg Zoo in the Netherlands gave the hippo to Thailand on June 8, 1967, when she was only a year old. She has since produced 14 offspring. 

Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri celebrates the 55th birthday of Mae Mali, Thailand's most popular hippo, on Tuesday.(Video from @thailandzoo, the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand Facebook page)


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