It's true what they say, the hippo is the most dangerous animal in Africa... and the zoo apparently. Not the Lion, not any of the big cats, or other predators out there... it's the hippo, straight up.

Even the little guys can be ferocious, as zookeepers learned at John Ball Zoo this week, as one of their new Pygmy Hippos attacked, and killed its exhibit counterpart, a type of African Antelope that is practically twice its size.

107.7 WRKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

The exhibit, called "Hippopalooza" was set to open on June 2nd, but that might be delayed now after the attack. The intent was, to introduce the pygmy hippos to several other animals who would share the exhibit with them, and show how multiple species can co-exist in an environment.

Zookeepers say they had plans for two European White Storks, and a Sitatunga named "Chopper" to join the hippos.

"After successful visual introductions between Chopper and the pygmy hippo throughout the last month, trained animal care staff were attempting a controlled introduction of our pygmy hippo with Chopper inside their habitat when the pygmy hippo suddenly attacked Chopper." - Peter D'Arienzo, John Ball Zoo CEO

He went on to say zoo staff separated the animals immediately, and provided care for Chopper, but ultimately, his injuries were too extensive, and he died.


While the Pygmy Hippo was relatively new to the world, Chopper has been around, and cared for by zookeepers for several years. He was born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore in 2016, and spent time in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park before coming to John Ball earlier this year.

"This sad incident reminds us that despite enormous cautionary measures taken by zoo staff over the last several weeks, the behavior of wild animals can be unpredictable."

10 Animals You Can’t Own As Pets In Michigan

Some people really want to have an exotic pet in their home, but very rarely is it a good idea. And if you are looking to add a wild animal to your family, check out this list of animals you can not own as pets in Michigan.

Most Deadly/Dangerous Animals In Michigan

If you see any of these animals... best to just walk away.

More From 107.7 WRKR-FM