Jul 21, 2019 | Updated: 09:46 AM EDT

Beloved Hippo Gustavito In El Salvador Dies Because Of Gang Violence

Mar 01, 2017 12:28 AM EST

El Salvador national zoo's beloved Gustavito the Hippo was killed by gang violence
(Photo : Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images) A hippopotamus like this one was killed in El Salvador national zoo after being attacked for unknown reason by some gangs.

The 13-year-old hippopotamus in El Salvador was said to be killed by gang members. Gustavito was beaten with metal bars and attacked with knives last Tuesday and died just this Sunday.

The El Salvador national zoo is closed because of the incident. The famous and beloved hippopotamus has died due to injuries he obtained from kicks, puncture and bruises, said the Independent. Gustavito, the 13-year old hippopotamus, was the latest victim of rampant gang violence in the country.  

Last Tuesday, Gustavito the hippopotamus was not leaving his pool, which is strange for the animal, zookeepers said in a news conference. They noticed that Gustavito was acting oddly. Moreover, the hippopotamus has stopped eating and was hiding under the water in his cage. The zookeepers could not inspect him closely because of it. They only get the chance to see his injuries last Thursday.

After checking on Gustavito, the zookeepers found bruises, lacerations, and other injuries in the hippopotamus head and body. There were also cramps and abdominal pains that the animal was suffering from, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement. El Salvador national zoo tried everything they can to say the beloved hippopotamus. However, everything was too late; Gustavito was too weak for the medical treatments.

An individual or more may have possibly entered Gustavito's cage and attacked him with sharp and blunt objects, Zoo director Vladen Henriquez said. There were pieces of metal and rocks that were found in Gustavito's cage, Henriquez added. There were wounds on the hippopotamus' feet and face that might be from an ice pick. The Salvadoran officials are investigating the atrocious incident. They do not know what prompted the people who attacked the hippopotamus but they will find out.  

According to The Sydney Moring Herald, El Salvador is one of the most dangerous countries not only in Latin America but also worldwide. In 2015, El Salvador recorded a high death toll of 6600 from homicide only. After the government did something to stop and lessen it, it decreased to 5278 killing in 2016.

People are enraged at this incident. They want the people responsible for being punished. 

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