Target: Wei Kuo-yen, Minister of the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration
Goal: Ensure zoo implements improved policies after the death of a captive hippo
A hippopotamus has died after being severely injured during transport to a private zoo that was not even permitted to keep the animal. The hippo, nicknamed A-He, jumped off the truck he was being carried in and smashed into a parked car. The animal suffered a broken leg and several broken teeth, and was left to bleed on the road for hours before he was picked up. Footage of the hippo shows tears running from his eyes as he is left to wait for help.
When help finally arrived, the massive animal was hoisted into a truck—but not before he was dropped again, this time from a height of about two meters. He went without veterinary attention for 20 hours, according to Chu Tseng-hung, the head of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan.
A-He was transported to a fish farm, where he could swim in the water and put less pressure on his injured legs. A statement was released claiming the hippo was recovering well and swimming briskly in the ponds, but the hippo succumbed to his injuries the same night. An autopsy revealed that A-He’s diaphragm was torn, causing his lungs to shift downward to his stomach area.
The hippo’s owners of 12 years, Skyzoo, never obtained the necessary government permits to keep the animal. Despite inspectors fining the facility, no move was made by the government to remove A-He from the zoo. The zoo also failed to obtain appropriate transportation for the animal, opting instead for a modified pick-up truck.
Had more care been taken in tending to A-He’s health, it is likely that he would still be alive today. Unfortunately, zoo officials have displayed little more than reckless neglect toward A-He and countless other animals at Skyzoo, which has been criticized extensively by animal welfare groups in the past. Sign the petition below to demand that Skyzoo is accountable for its neglect and forced to improve its practices.
Dear Minister Wei Kuo-yen,
A-He, a hippopotamus, recently died after being injured in two falls during transportation. The hippo was owned by Skyzoo, which didn’t have proper government permits to keep the animal and failed to ensure that the animal was being transported securely.
While Skyzoo has previously been cited for improper documentation, poor conditions, and other infractions, it has been allowed to continue its operations largely unhindered. With more government oversight and enforcement of animal protection laws, it is likely that A-He would not have died. We, the undersigned, demand that more effort be taken to ensure that Skyzoo adheres to animal protection regulations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kabbachi via Creative Commons