Pappi, a 28-year-old female hippopotamus at the Alipore Zoological Garden, was found dead on Wednesday morning.
Workers at the zoo struggled to lift the close to 4,000-kg carcass that lay by the side of the boundary wall of the enclosure for hippopotamuses. A crane was brought to send it for post-mortem.
“Several hours were needed to hoist the dead animal out of water,” said Dr. Kanai Lal Ghosh, director of the zoo.
Dr. Ghosh, however, could not pinpoint the exact time of the animal’s death.
“It died sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.”
Despite its advanced age, Pappi’s behaviour was normal till Tuesday. “Suddenly on Wednesday morning, the workers found it dead in its enclosure,” he said.