Celebrity Baby Hippo Named Farasi Needs a New Home

Posted on March 13, 2009


Farasi was born in a Swiss zoo, the Basel Zoo, and instantly became a celebrity in Switzerland. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the zoo has no more room for Farasi and if they can't find a home he will be euthanized.
American zoos believe in birth control or sexual abstinence for their animal populations. But Europe's 4,000 zoos take a more continental approach to reproductive rights: Animals should be free to do what comes naturally. The result is a surplus of offspring. And if zookeepers can't find a home for the babies, zoos typically kill them. Some carcasses are used for research. Meatier cuts -- and Farasi surely qualifies -- are thrown to the lions.

That harsh reality has shocked the famously peace-loving Swiss. Amid the joy of Farasi's birth, zoo spokeswoman Tanja Dietrich said he'd be put up for adoption. Or else? Zoo policy, she said, is to "put down excess animals and feed them to carnivores."

Switzerland's popular commuter tabloids pounced like caged cats, with headlines like "Little Farasi is going to die!" and "Help! Who will rescue me?"
This is very disturbing. Europe's zoos need to implement some birth control measures and little Farasi needs a rescue. There needs to be a happy ending to this story. An article here says the Basel Zoo rejects the Wall Street Journal story and says they are confident they will find a home for Farasi. Farasi will be staying with his mother for at least another year before needing to be relocated.

Photo: Basel Zoo