Belgian newspaper Morgen in its Sunday issue published a story about the first love of she-hippopotamus Hermien, the animal mostly loved by visitors of an Antwerp zoo.
The she-hippopotamus has been pining in her cage for 22 years. And finally, the zoo administration decided to make her a long-expected present: a foreign suiter, hippopotamus Heiny appeared in the cage. By the way, hippopotamus couplings occur when animals are 2-3 years old when they live in the natural conditions.
Experienced zoo attendant Peter Fasser performed the role of a procurer. He did it several times already with giraffes and elephants, but he married hippopotami for the first time. Peter covered a path between the newly-weds with rich grass and opened the cage door wide. However, spinster Hermien was obstinate and pretended that she didn’t understand the hints dropped at her at all. She hid in a remote corner of the cage and to the last moment resisted to a meeting with the suiter delivered especially for her from abroad. And the latter patiently waited for her in the bath all the time.
Monsieur Fasser was implacable: he tried to lure the she-hippopotamus out of the cage with a candy and sweet words, but finally he lost all his patience. The procurer rushed into the cage and kicked the obstinate hippopotamus into the basin. Hundreds of excited spectators observed the “execution” and the swimming procedures.
And now the Antwerp zoo administration is looking forward to the moment when the she-hippopotamus will bring babies. It is expected that demonstration of newly born kids will cover all spending connected with the export of the father of the hippopotamus family.
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