‘Bertha lived a happy life’

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:12 AM July 12, 2017

Contrary to an international animal rights group’s claim, Bertha, Manila Zoo’s lone hippopotamus who was reportedly the oldest in the world, was happy until she passed away last week at age 65.

“It is not true that Bertha died of boredom. She was happy interacting with our zookeepers,” said James Albert Dichaves, director of the Manila Parks and Recreations Bureau (MPRB) which supervises the zoo.


According to a statement, all animals in Manila Zoo, including Bertha, are healthy and given complete annual checkups, Dichaves said.

He noted that Bertha even surpassed the average 40 to 50-year life span of hippopotamuses.

“She was healthy until she eventually weakened due to old age,” Dichaves said.

The MPRB director took exception to the statement of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) which criticized Manila Zoo for “imprisoning” wild animals.

Jason Baker, Peta’s vice president of international campaigns, said Bertha’s life at the zoo was “one full of boredom, misery and deprivation.”

“It’s a tragedy that she only realized freedom through death, and other animals imprisoned in zoos … continue to suffer,” he claimed.

Bertha, who weighed 2.5 tons, died on Friday afternoon due to multiple organ failure, according to an autopsy. She was aged seven in 1959 when Manila Zoo opened.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bertha the hippopotamus, James Albert Dichaves, Jason Baker, Manila Parks and Recreations Bureau, Manila Zoo, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2019 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.