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HomeNational Animal NewsAntelope Killed By Pygmy Hippo During 'Controlled' Introduction

Antelope Killed By Pygmy Hippo During ‘Controlled’ Introduction

Grand Rapids, Michigan – On May 16, an antelope named Chopper was killed by a pygmy hippo during a “controlled introduction” at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. According to zoo officials, the animals were supposed to be introduced in order to facilitate their shared coexistence in a habitat at the facility.

In a news release, zoo officials recounted the tragic situation, writing:

After successful visual introductions between Chopper and the pygmy hippo throughout the last month, trained animal care staff were attempting a controlled introduction of our pygmy hippo with Chopper inside their habitat when the pygmy hippo suddenly attacked Chopper.

Stock image of a pygmy hippo

Zoo staff immediately separated the animals, but Chopper could not be saved. The incident is under investigation.

The zoo staff is grieving Chopper’s loss and they noted that wild animals can behave in unexpected ways:

The Zoo has successfully introduced species many times, and our staff was thoroughly prepared for this introduction. This sad incident reminds us that despite enormous cautionary measures taken by Zoo staff over the last several weeks, the behavior of wild animals can be unpredictable.

Rest in peace Chopper.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Shame never put in the same enclosure reckless behaviour of staff. Animal nature always takes precedence nature is nature they are not damn friends shame on you poor antelope.

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    • $10 an hour untrained staff wont get blamed, the zoo’s owners are responsible & need to be fined for carelessness leading to an animal’s death, which also should be made public through local & social media.

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  2. Hippos are the very definition of territorial. It isn’t worth the risk to enclose them with other animals who have no means of escape. RIP Chopper; You died a needless death because of inept care takers.

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  3. Hippopotami are reportedly the most dangerous animals in Africa. IDK the backstory to this incident, beyond what is stated in the article, but I don’t believe it was appropriate for this pairing to have occurred.

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  4. These 2 lovely animals should never have been placed together in the same caged area. The zoo should have known better. Shame on the incompetent zoo.

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  5. These 2 lovely animals should never have been placed together in the same caged area. The zoo should have known better. Shame on the incompetent zoo.

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  6. Zoos are AWFUL for animals!!! THIS is why there shouldn’t be any zoos. Why are humans deciding on which female to breed with which male and why would humans decide on which animals should be “friends?” This is disgusting. i will NEVER visit a zoo and pay for the isolation and artificial world for these animals!!!

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  7. So sad and never should have happened. You would think that the zoo employees responsible for this dumb decision would have known NOT to do it…why do animals always have to suffer due to people’s stupidity???

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  8. As another person commented above: Hippos are some of theee most unpredictable and dangerous of animals. They kill more people than crocodiles, lions, etc. They are very feared by all people and animals in Africa. I am no zoologist but this zoos administration should certainly know what most everyone in the world knows!! Reckless. But I do applaud them for their transparency in sharing this event.

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  9. les zoo’s sont des entreprises commerciales qui se moquent pas mal des animaux! Ils les gèrent comme de la marchandise.

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  10. Looks like the introduction wasn’t “controlled” after all. Or it was controlled by fools. Zoos are primarily about profits for the founders and leadership; the individual animals are at the bottom of the totem pole. Poor antelope, rest in peace. It’s not the hippo’s fault either. Animals are not morally culpable because they’re innocent of the knowledge of good vs. evil, unlike people, who often behave FAR worse than even hyenas. Pygmy hippos are horribly abused in this subhuman-dominated world too.

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  11. These zoo idiots do this for their purposes and not the animal welfare. Shame on them!!! Why do zoos exist?! Why do we trafficked these animals for lives of physical pain & sorrow?!!!!!

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  12. Knowing that animals can be unpredictable it was up to the zoo to take precautions. And not let $!0 an hour uncaring hired help leave these animals alone in a new situation. This zoo needs to be cited & fined for being irresponsible leading to an animal’s death. (Yes, zoos can be irresponsible.) And shouldn’t get off the hook with a flip statement that animals can be ‘unpredictable’ in an effort to blame the animals.

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