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Outrage after Beloved Hippo is Battered to Death in El Salvador Zoo

Outrage after Beloved Hippo is Battered to Death in El Salvador Zoo

Authorities said it was one of the most inhumane and cowardly acts they'd ever seen.

The attack occurred last week, but zoo keepers did not discover the hippo's injuries until Thursday because he did not leave his pool.

According to 2016 data from the World Bank, El Salvador has the highest homicide rate for any country in almost 20 years, with numerous murders being carried out by gangs.

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.

Police are now searching for those responsible for entering Gustavito's enclosure and beating him with blunt and sharp objects, CNN reported. Powerful street gangs have been blamed for most of the killings.

The attack happened on Saturday at the National Zoo of El Salvador.




Others likened Gustavito's death to that of Harambe, the gorilla who was famously shot and killed in Cincinnati zoo a year ago, prompting global outrage and a deluge of memes and over-the-top celebrity tributes. Gustavito survived for four days, before eventually succumbing to his injuries late on Sunday.

"They kill us like flies, but this tops it all". The zoo's veterinarians found lacerations on the hippo's neck and face.

Officials said they found pieces of metal and rocks inside the hippo's enclosure. A necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death, and the zoo intends to double its security.

Salvadorans have mourned Gustavito on social media and left flowers at the gate of the zoo, which has been closed until further notice. Others have simply posted: "Forgive us Gustavito".

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into Gustavito's death, Justice Minister Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde said, according to the Associated Press. Gustavito was "clearly in great distress", BBC reported.

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