Japan zoo gender mix-up: Male hippo turns out to be female

Photo courtesy of Yahoo News UK

In a revelation that has stunned both visitors and staff, Osaka Tennoji Zoo unearthed a surprising twist regarding Gen-chan, a hippo believed to be male since its arrival from Mexico’s Africam Safari in 2017 at the tender age of 5. The zoo dropped a bombshell on its website, disclosing that Gen-chan is, in fact, a female.

Mexican authorities had assured the zoo that Gen-chan was male, and all import documents corroborated this information. However, as time passed, zookeepers noticed a lack of typical male behaviours in Gen-chan’s repertoire. With no jaw-to-jaw sparring or territorial displays in sight, suspicions grew.

Unable to confirm Gen-chan’s gender visually, the zoo resorted to DNA testing, revealing the true identity of their resident hippo.

In a statement, the zoo expressed remorse over the oversight and pledged to double down on sex confirmation procedures for future arrivals. Meanwhile, across the globe, another zoo faced heart-wrenching news concerning a beloved hippo.

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Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo shared a sombre update, revealing the impending loss of Water Lily, a cherished 45 year old hippo battling declining health following a recent cancer diagnosis. The decision to euthanise Lily was made in the interest of her well-being, reported Yahoo News UK.

Locals have until this Sunday to bid farewell to Lily before the zoo temporarily closes.

In related news, Khon Kaen Zoo proudly announced the successful breeding of black swans, marking a first in the zoo’s history. The arrival of three cygnets, hatched in early February, comes as a delightful surprise to zoo officials and animal lovers alike.

Thipawadee Kittikhun, the acting director-general at the zoo, revealed that three eggs were laid by a seven year old swan in December, which hatched between February 9 and 10.

In other news, Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chon Buri province has introduced its newest sensation: capybara pants, available in stores since March.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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