Baby hippo could be fed to big cats at zoo unless home is found
A baby hippo, named Farasi, born at the Basel Zoo in Switzerland, may be fed to the big cats there because there might not be enough room for it there.
However there has been such a public outcry, zoo officials are saying that they are hoping this won't happen.
"There are rare cases in which we have to kill an animal" and feed it to carnivores, zoo spokeswoman Tanja Dietrich told the Associated Press on Friday. But it's unlikely to become an option for Farasi, Dietrich said, and will only be used after "all else has failed."
Farasi was born in November and was named 'Swiss of the Year' for 2008. But he is already 100 kilograms in weight and there is a lack of space. European zoos do sometimes euthanize animals they don't have room for and can't find homes for. Rather than waste the meat, the zoos feed the dead animals to other animals.
European zoos do not regulate the breeding of their animals the way other zoos do.
They either have to find the animal another home or they kill it.
No decision will be made about Farasi until he is weaned off his mother, in about 10 months or so.
Basel Zoo has previously stated it is only willing to send Farasi to another zoological facility.
The national circus, Circus Royal, has offered to take the hippo rather than let it be put down. Animal rights groups have also called on the zoo to send the baby hippo to a reserve in Africa.