“It is with great sadness for us to announce that Donna, the world’s oldest living Nile hippopotamus in captivity, was humanly euthanized this morning due to her declining quality of life caused by her debilitating severe arthritis” said Amos Morris, Zoo Director. “The quality of care she received at the Zoo has been phenomenal.
The animal and veterinary staff’s amazing care for this aging animal is a true testament to the level of compassion and expertise they demonstrated through every stage of her life.” Donna was at the beginning of her 62nd year, arriving at the Zoo on August 7, 1956 predating all of the Zoo’s current staff.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden acquired Donna from the Miami Rare Bird Farm. Prior to that, she resided at the Overton Park Zoo, which later became the Memphis Zoo. Since her arrival at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, Donna was exhibited in the Kley Building. During her life, she had all eight of her offspring with her mate Kley while living at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.
Donna will be greatly missed by both Zoo staff and the community. Contributions can be made in her memory to the Evansville Zoological Society, 1545 Mesker Park Drive, Evansville, IN. Contributions will be used to create a memorial for Donna the Hippo within a future area of the Zoo.