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The Honolulu Zoo welcomes new hippopotamus

Mara at the Honolulu Zoo

O‘AHU – The Honolulu Zoo is happy to announce the arrival of a hippopotamus on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 from the Los Angeles Zoo. The female hippo, Mara, was born on September 24, 2003. She is 18 years old and weighs approximately 3,610 pounds. Mara is on exhibit now in the African Savanna at the Honolulu Zoo. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the hippopotamus listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

For an interview with Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos, a time-lapse, and b-roll of the hippo, please follow this link:

“The Honolulu Zoo is very excited to welcome Mara, the hippo,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos. “Large mammals are not always available and we were very fortunate to be able to work with the Los Angeles Zoo to successfully relocate Mara to join Louise in our hippo exhibit. We appreciate the LA Zoo staff for their assistance and accompanying her on this transport. We’re also thankful for Pacific Air Cargo, Island Topsoil and the Honolulu Zoo Society for their generous financial support in transporting these great animals. We would also like to thank the Honolulu Police Department and the State Department of Transportation Airports and Highways divisions for their help in coordinating the logistics and execution of the ground transit.”

Hippos are the most dangerous animal in the world and the third-largest land mammal in the world, after the elephant and rhinoceros. They have an average life expectancy of up to 50 years. The name hippopotamus comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse” and their closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc.). A native of Africa, hippos are mostly herbivorous, have wide-opening mouths with canine tusks and are capable of running 19 mph over short distances.

Louise, the zoo’s current resident hippo, is 30 years old and was born on Sept. 14, 1991 at the Denver Zoo. 


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