HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo is blocked off after a female hippopotamus was found dead on Friday morning. Rosey's death was unexpected since zoo officials said she showed no obvious signs of illness. She was 25 years old. Hippos in captivity can live to be up to 50 years old.
Another female hippo named Louise was also in the enclosure. Workers removed Rosey's body which weighs about 1.5 tons.
"We're very concerned, obviously, and we want to make sure Louise - our number one priority now - make sure that she is well cared for and is comfortable. We take this very seriously," said Jeff Wilkinson, director of the Honolulu Zoo.
The closure disappointed visitors like Paris Bailey and her son.
"It's sad to know that because he always likes knowing about it, too, because he knows it's one of the deadliest animals out there so he wanted to see it and was looking forward to it," she said.
The exhibit is off-limits indefinitely while zoologists monitor the remaining animal. A necropsy is being done to determine Rosey's cause of death.
"The necropsy will absolutely be looking for any kind of toxicology or infection. We'll also be taking blood samples and getting a health exam for Louise as well," said Wilkinson.
A new water filtration system is being installed in the enclosure, but Wilkinson doesn't believe that the construction played a role in the animal's death.
"It's really sad. Hopefully, they find another one soon," said zoo visitor Adele Hayashi.
The zoo hopes to acquire another female hippopotamus from a mainland faculty in the next few months.