Twit Twoo Hippo Hooray! An ‘otterly’ cheeky day of celebrations

The rain hasn’t dampened spirits at Zoos SA today with lots to celebrate around both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

Not only did much-loved Pygmy Hippopotamus Obi celebrate his seventh birthday but Cooper the Barn Owl turned 22-years-old becoming one of the oldest of his species in Australia!

On top this, Adelaide Zoo’s raft of otters celebrated World Otter Day and Lani the Chimpanzee turned 20 at Monarto Safari Park.

On his walk around the zoo with keeper Amelia, owl-some Cooper had a hoot visiting the giraffe and sea lions, his favourite animals to watch while out and about.

“Cooper is one of the stars of Adelaide Zoo, he is so well known and beloved by us and our visitors too,” Amelia said.

“In the wild, the life expectancy of a Barn Owl is around four years so Cooper is incredible!

“To celebrate we took him on a walk, which he loves, put up a special birthday sign in the Nocturnal House and gave him some newspaper enrichment to play with.”

Birthday boy Obi celebrated his big day with delicious greens including mirror bush, lettuce, basil, parsley, watercress and sage.

Keeper Claire Geister said Obi has won hearts since he arrived in 2016.

“Obi is very cheeky boy and he quickly become a favourite for all of us at Adelaide Zoo,” she said.

“We wanted to wish him a very happy birthday with his favourite treats. We made up a special birthday cake fit for a 250kg hippo with a base of lucerne hay and toppings of leafy greens.”

When he’s not munching on tasty treats, Obi loves to spend his days swimming, wallowing in his mud bath and rolling around in the hay.

Across the zoo, more ‘otterly’ delicious enrichment was in the paws of the Asian Small-clawed Otters. Celebrating World Otter Day, the raft enjoyed snacks of cat kibble and vegetables in large water bottles.

The adorable group also had fun playing with some brightly coloured balls and figuring out how to get their treats!

The celebrations continued at Monarto Safari Park for Lani the Chimpanzee, with the primate keepers decorating the Chimpanzee exhibit with birthday banners and gorgeous photos of Lani.

The cheeky chimps also received brightly decorated birthday presents in their day room and enjoyed ripping them open to reveal the popcorn, dried fruit, pellets inside.

Lani came to Monarto Safari Park from Taronga Zoo with Hannah in 2018. She can often be spotted sitting next to the waterfall out on the chimp exhibit.

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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