By Guido Trombetta on 10:30 PM Animals
This nice baby hippo is Farasi, it was born in November in the swiss zoo of Basel, and has quickly become a celebrity in Switzerland insomuch as he was voted "Swiss of the Year" for 2008 (beating out tennis star Roger Federer)
Although, even if he has become one of the main attractions of the zoo his future suddenly seemed quite hazy when zoo spokeswoman was quoted saying there was a lack of space at the zoo and that the institution policy is to euthanize surplus animals or put them into predators' cages as food!
Quite obviously this statement has quickly raise in the public opinion a feeling of dismay and indignation (A Facebook group called Save Farasi quickly numbered 15,000 people). What seems quite ridicoulous is that under Swiss animal-rights provisions, guinea pigs must be kept in pairs to prevent loneliness and unwanted goldfish must be rendered unconscious before being flushed down the toilet!
Nevertheless there is no protection under Swiss law for four-month-old Farasi facing a likely death sentence and he will be euthanized if he can't find a home at another zoo before he grows old enough to be a threat to his father (due to the particular behaviour of his species that in a herd only tolerate one adult male at a time).
Also the transfert to another zoo seems to be difficult because almost every zoo has already a male adult hippo.
Fortunately today good news have finally arrived and the lions and tigers at the Basel Zoo probably won't get to sink their teeth into baby hippopotamus flesh. Officials at the zoo seems to have slightly changed idea and said: "There are rare cases in which we have to kill an animal. But it's unlikely to become an option for Farasi and will only be used after all else has failed."
UPDATE: Farasi will be received by Rome Biopark! Yu-hu! No tiger-food this time!
Before Farasi we've already had two wondeful story about baby hippos on this blog, Owen and Monifa, don't miss them: