• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Hippopotamus in Japan Turns Out to be Female After Seven Years of Misidentification


Apr 24, 2024 #world

In an unexpected revelation, Osaka Tennoji Zoo in Japan announced on Tuesday that a hippopotamus, previously believed to be male for seven years, has been identified as female, leaving zookeepers puzzled by the animal’s uncharacteristic behavior and toilet habits.

The 12-year-old hippopotamus, named Gen-chan, arrived at Osaka Tennoji Zoo in 2017 from the Africam Safari animal park in Mexico. At the time of its transfer, customs documents from Mexico stated that the then five-year-old hippo was male, based on visual assessment.

However, zookeepers soon noticed discrepancies in Gen-chan’s behavior that deviated from typical male hippo characteristics. Unlike male hippos, Gen-chan did not engage in behaviors such as splattering feces to mark territory or making courtship calls to females. Additionally, zookeepers were unable to visually identify any male genitalia, a risky task given the hippopotamus’s size and potential aggression.

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After years of uncertainty, the zoo decided to conduct a DNA test at an external institution to determine Gen-chan’s true biological sex. The results of the test confirmed that the hippopotamus is, in fact, female, overturning the previous misidentification.

In a statement posted by the zoo last week, they expressed their commitment to providing a comfortable environment for Gen-chan and invited visitors to come and observe the fascinating revelation.

“We will keep doing our best to provide a comfortable environment for Gen-chan, so everyone, please come and see,” the statement read.

The discovery highlights the complexities of animal identification and the importance of scientific methods such as DNA testing in accurately determining biological characteristics.The case of Gen-chan, the hippopotamus in Japan, serves as a reminder of the intricacies involved in animal identification and the significance of utilizing scientific tools for accurate assessment.

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