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NZ's last hippo dies after illness

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/08/2016

New Zealand's last hippopotamus has died.

Auckland Zoo on Wednesday confirmed Faith, its 41-year-old hippo, has been euthanised after quickly becoming sick.

The elderly hippo was born in the zoo in 1975 and staff have described her as "a dearly loved member of the Auckland Zoo family".

The zoo said Faith had been unwell for several days and deteriorated rapidly on Tuesday.

"Exhibiting signs of fatal haemorrhagic respiratory disease, a terminal condition, euthanasia was the kindest and only option," it said.

"Our thoughts go out to all our staff, volunteers and everyone who loved Faith."

Faith was the last hippopotamus left in the country after her 28-year-old son Fudge died in March.

Hippos typically have life spans of between 40 and 50 years.

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