Blackie the hippo died at age 59 in his off-exhibit enclosure in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Monday. He was believed to be the oldest male Nile hippo ever recorded as well.
During his time at the Zoo, Blackie the hippo sired three male offspring and was a favorite of many guests and staff members.
In 2008, the Cleveland Metroparks built a special addition with a heated pool onto the Africa barn for Blackie because of his advancing age. He lived out his last several years contentedly eating copious amounts of produce and floating lazily in a pool he didn’t have to share.
Blackie arrived to the Zoo from Africa in 1955 when he was about one year old, and generations of Clevelanders grew up seeing him in the former Pachyderm Building. He was born at the Mount Meru Game Sanctuary in Tanzania and brought to Cleveland by Zoo officials and board members…