Tags: el salvador | zoo | hippo | gustavito

Gustavito the Hippo Killed in Attack at El Salvador Zoo

Image: Gustavito the Hippo Killed in Attack at El Salvador Zoo

People participate in a protest over the death of a hippo after an attack in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Feb 27, 2017. (Jose Cabezas/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 06:31 AM

Gustavito the Hippo, an iconic zoo animal in El Salvador, was attacked and killed at the National Zoological Park in San Salvador.

Gustavito, one of the main attractions at the zoo, sustained "multiple blows on different parts of the body" from "blunt and sharp objects," in an attack last Wednesday, the culture ministry said in a statement, per CNN.

Suspects are believed to have entered the zoo and repeatedly beat Gustavito, BBC News reported. The 15-year-old hippopotamus died Sunday after veterinarians worked on him in the days after the attack to save its life, noted CNN.

Zoo officials described the attack as a cowardly and inhumane act on one of the park's most iconic animals, according to BBC News. Security Minister Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde said that while there was no evidence that zoo employees or security were involved, he has "ruled nothing out."

Zoo director Vladlen Hernandez said he did not believe employees could have taken part in Gustavito's attack.

"The zoo's employees had great empathy for him, he generated empathy," Hernandez said, according to BBC News.

BBC News said in January that El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world, sparked by gang violence from groups that originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s by El Salvador immigrants. Many of those gang members returned to the country after El Salvador's civil war ended in 1992.

Many shared their feelings about the hippo on Twitter.

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Gustavito the Hippo, an iconic zoo animal in El Salvador, was attacked and killed at the National Zoological Park in San Salvador.
el salvador, zoo, hippo, gustavito
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2017-31-01
Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 06:31 AM
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