Longtime Chaffee Zoo Resident in Decline

FRESNO , CA ( September 9, 2005) – The Chaffee Zoo announced today that Bulgy, the hippopotamus, is beginning to show signs of decline. At 49 years of age, Bulgy is one of the oldest hippos in captivity. He is a wild-caught animal and was acquired from the Miami Rare Bird Farm in 1958. For 44 years, Bulgy shared his enclosure with Bubbles, a wild-caught female. Together, they produced a total of 17 offspring. Bubbles, who was slightly older than Bulgy, died in January 2002.

Although medical tests have revealed no specific illness, Zoo staff has noticed that Bulgy is eating less and spending greater amounts of time in his pool. Dr. Susan Lynch, zoo veterinarian, is administering anti-inflammatory medicine to treat any arthritis, but suspects that his decline is due primarily to his advanced age. The Zoo recommends that visitors who wish to see Bulgy make an effort to visit the zoo in the next month.

Contact: Shelley Morrison (559) 621-5716

Andrew T. Souza , City Manager
Contact: Ken Shockley, Public Affairs Officer: (559) 621-7777

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