Beloved Hippopotamus to be Euthanized Due to Cancer

Woodland Park Zoo has announced with heavy hearts that Water Lily, a beloved 45-year-old hippopotamus, will be euthanized due to declining health caused by cancer.

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A Life of Joy and Connection

Lily was born in 1978 and joined the zoo in 1979. She quickly became a favorite among staff and visitors thanks to her playful personality and unique behaviors, like wiggling her ears when surfacing, and her love for watermelon treats.

Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.


The Diagnosis and Difficult Decision

After discovering that Lily had fibrosarcoma, a type of connective tissue cancer, veterinarians attempted to manage her symptoms. Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated, leading to decreased mobility and increasing discomfort. Dr. Tim Storms, the zoo's director of animal health, explained that euthanasia was the most humane option to prevent further suffering.

Saying Goodbye to a Zoo Icon

Zoo visitors have the opportunity to say their goodbyes to Lily until Sunday, as she enjoys her final days in the pool and outdoor habitat. The zoo staff expressed gratitude for the community's support and the dedication of those who cared for Lily, pledging to honor her memory.

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