2 min read

Hannah The Hungry Hippo Has Her Cake And Eats It Too

<p><a class="checked-link" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekilby/13208886435/in/photolist-m8dZKi-m8dVjV-m8dWBK-5AyZFr-m8dXMa-m8eNwx-5AyYJa-5ADfa7-5AyZVF-5ADgof-5AyZqT-98hSD9-dfYH6p-cH3E-hv3Vw-arAV2P-5G6Cd-5G6AA-4DbaBw-5FvYhQ-MtP2P-51vC5p-5xPLSH-67GfF9-oczYmJ-8payUP-cmeWgm-cmeVSN-cmeVum-pSXRg-bDXytR-p3f3vL-d3awFm-d3axfC-n9pPvK-6jQdMU-2NCpK-8v3qFw-8uZos6-8uZoBi-pTsPB-6W5paV-8CEfEg-vv8vw-kv7EUu-9oDcsV-4pBrvM-5pxc4k-4vHwH9-hv3EM">Eric Kilby/Flickr</a></p>

Twelve years ago, a pygmy hippo, an endangered species native to the swamps of West Africa, was discovered living in a suburban California backyard. Without access to shade or enough water, she was suffering from painful sunburns and a skin condition.

In 2002, rescuers swooped in to relocate her, moving her to a sanctuary in Ramona, Calif., where she's been living ever since.

Now, Hannah's got a 13,000-square-foot paddock, complete with a swimming pool and a natural pond, at the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center. And she recently celebrated her 41st birthday, earning her the title of "oldest pygmy hippo in America."

(hsus/YouTube)

The hungry hippo was treated to her favorite fruits and veggies, pomegranate icing and sweet grain sprinkles in a "cake" at the sanctuary.

(hsus/YouTube)

See her whole celebration below:

Hannah's life isn't perfect - it's still a far cry from her natural home in West Africa. The exotic pet trade affects thousands of animals like her every year. And with just 3,000 individuals still alive in the wild, any pygmy hippos who are captured for captivity can hurt the species' chances of survival. See this page to learn more about how to stop wildlife trafficking.