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Hip Hippo Hooray – Obi turns five and celebrates with his keepers at Adelaide Zoo

Every five-year-old wants a party on their birthday, COVID-19 restrictions or not,  and things were no different for Obi, Adelaide Zoo’s Pygmy Hippopotamus, who turned five on the 25 May.

In the absence of any visitors, keepers lined the enclosure to watch as the Pygmy Hippo devoured his birthday cake before taking to the pool for fun time.

“Obi had a birthday cake made of lucerne and meadow hay with a mashed pumpkin, carrot and sweet potato frozen and decorated with his favourite Mirror bush browse, parsley and five carrots as candles,” said keeper Jade Koek.

“Just like a typical kids’ party, there were also games. Obi took to his pool to play and nudge colourful enrichment balls. He was very playful,” said Jade.

With so much excitement the birthday boy took to his den for a little post-brekkie snooze.

“He’s having his regular little nap now, but this afternoon we’ll get out the water hose for him to play with,” finished Jade.

Enrichment is a daily activity for Obi and all the animals at Zoos SA’s sites.

Obi, is an ambassador for the Pygmy Hippopotamus which is sadly endangered due to deforestation in its native habitat of Côte d’Ivoire; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone and is already extinct in Nigeria.

There are thought to be between 2,000 – 2,500 adult Pygmy Hippos remaining in the wild which is why conservation work to protect them is vital. In the future, Adelaide Zoo hopes to increase its number of Pygmy Hippos to help save the species from extinction.


Roll on July when Light Creatures at Adelaide Zoo starts as part of Illuminate Adelaide.

About Zoos SA

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

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