Bashan, Japan's oldest hippopotamus, died at a zoo in eastern Japan on Friday aged 54, the park said.


(Image provided by Kamine Zoo)

 Born in 1963 in an amusement park in Beppu, southwestern Japan, the female hippopotamus was moved to Kamine Zoo in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 1968. The animal was popular among visitors, according to the zoo operator.

She is believed to have died of natural causes at an age equivalent to around 95 in human years. Bashan gave birth to 14 calves.

A zookeeper said Bashan lost her appetite last Sunday and was found dead at a pool by a veterinarian early Friday.