El Salvador’s much-loved hippo Gustavito killed at zoo

The zoo's veterinarians found cuts on the hippo's neck and face

The zoo’s veterinarians found cuts on the hippo’s neck and face

A much-loved hippopotamus called Gustavito has died after an unexplained attack over the weekend in the National Zoo of El Salvador.

The police are trying to establish who entered the animal’s enclosure at night and brutally assaulted him.

Gustavito, 15, died from his injuries late on Sunday.

Officials have described it as a cowardly and inhumane attack on one of the most iconic animals at the city’s zoo.

BBC Central America reporter Will Grant says that in a country where murder has long lost the capacity to shock, the extreme animal cruelty that claimed Gustavito’s life has angered and upset all of El Salvador.

Unknown assailants entered the national zoo in San Salvador over the weekend and subjected the hippo to a sustained beating with what appears to have been sharp weapons and blunt tools.

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