Shocking cruelty as zoo’s beloved hippo Gustavito beaten to death

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In the city of San Salvador, in El Salvador, the rise of  brutal gang violence in recent years just reached one of the most vulnerable victims, when the National Zoo’s beloved hippo Gustavito was beaten to death last week. The hippopotamus died on Sunday night. Even with the staggering loss of life to humans caused by the rampant violence, the senseless death of an innocent animal, that brought pleasure to thousands as he quietly frolicked in a zoo’s pool in his enclosure, stirred public outrage.

Police in El Salvador are investigating an attack at the National Zoological Park that killed a hippopotamus named Gustavito.

Police in El Salvador are investigating an attack at the National Zoological Park that killed a hippopotamus named Gustavito.

According to AbcNews, Gustavito was born and raised in Guatemala for two years. He arrived to the El Salvador National Zoo 13 years ago. The hippopotamus suffered “multiple blows on different parts of his body” from “blunt and sharp objects” in Tuesday’s attack, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement. Two days after the attack, the staff noticed Gustavito had been spending most of his time under water in his enclosure and had stopped eating. When examined, veterinarians discovered the hippo suffered from “bruises, lacerations on the head and body, cramps and abdominal pain.” A necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of the animal’s death.

And that wasn’t all. Vladen Henriquez, the zoo director, stated the hippo had injuries to his feet, wounds on his cheek which were indicative of having been attacked with an ice pick and injuries inside of his mouth most likely inflicted as Gustavito tried desperately to defend himself. Pieces of metal and rocks were found in his enclosure.

Salvadorans have been sending their sympathies through social media and have left flowers at the zoo’s gate. An investigation continues. Rest in peace Gustavito. (Photos of hippo courtesy of El Salvador’s Cultural Ministry)

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16 replies
  1. Dorothy Faye Reynolds says:

    Instead of sending flowers they need to put an reward out for the cowards that did this. I would like to see what kind of human being does a cruel thing like this to an animal that meant them no harm and whoever did this meant to do this..!

  2. Roselyne CORNETTE says:

    Écoeurant, que tous ces bâtards, fils de pute meurent dans les pires souffrances, se sont des parasites, des sous merde, que la mort les emporte en enfer. MONSTRES, BARBARES, CONSANGUINS. Je vous HAIS.

  3. Lorraine Sakli says:

    Why? Why? Why? What is humanity coming to. Monsters out there take the life of this innocent being much beloved by the community. I hope they are found and punished to the full extent. Yeah, sure!

  4. Kathleen Drude says:

    How the hell where they able to get into his enclosure! If they knew all this violence was going on around the zoo why was there extra protection for the animals! Now this hippo is dead as a result of a horrible beating! He suffered terror and pain! Those who did this should be hunted down and held accountable!

      • Sherry says:

        The animal cruelty out there is at an all time sickening high. It seems every animal must be watched round the clock to be able to enjoy a cruelty free life. Guys, I don’t know what’s the matter with mankind, but it’s something; because these cases aren’t isolated incidents; they are very common now. And they think up, new, twisted ways to torture. It’s horrifying. It is very dangerous to be an animal.

      • Rev. Dr. Yvonne Ray says:

        I am an animal rights advocate and some days I can hardly manage. Animal abuse has exploded worldwide. I and other animal rights advocates worked closely with the FBI and were instrumental in getting animal abuse classified as a Class A felony as of January 1, 2016. But, unless the perpetrator takes the animal across state lines or involves the federal authorities in some way the state laws apply and most of these are a joke. We are tackling those now. The FBI conducted extensive studies and determined a direct connection to animal abuse and escalating abuse to people. The world is a dangerous and evil place. Please protect your pets and get involved. Contact your state senators and representatives and urge them to present and vote for tougher state laws against animal abuse.

  5. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    This is SO SAD!!!! I hope they find who did this and put their asses UNDER THE PRISON!!!!! They don’t even deserve that kind of treatment.

  6. Rev. Dr. Yvonne Ray says:

    Why did it take the zoo two days to discover the hippo had been tortured and rocks and metal thrown into his enclosure?

  7. Solveig Pettersson says:

    Find how did this! !!! Its so cruel and horibelt! !!! RIP GUSTAVITO NO MOORE PAIN ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  8. Meghan says:

    THIS IS SICK, I am so worn out mentally from trying to understand how there are individuals who can hurt and ABUSE ANIMALS! I DO NOT GET IT! NEVER will understand, SICK PEOPLE


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