A hippopotamus in the El Salvador national zoo died on Sunday after being brutally attacked by unknown perpetrators on February 21. The zoo officials discovered puncture wounds and bruises made by metal bars, knives and rocks two days after the incident because the injured animal refused to leave his pool, reported The Independent. An investigation has been ordered into the incident, said Justice Minister Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde.
Gustavito was brought to El Salvador 13 years ago. He was born and raised in Guatemala. El Salvador residents took to social media to express their horror and grief after the incident. Protests were organised against the incident. The zoo has been closed till further notice.
The Central American nation is known for rampant violence. The country recorded 5,278 murders in 2016. Gang wars account for majority of the killings. “Here we’re used to seeing the dead every day,” Martin Castillo, a street vendor told The Guardian. “They kill us like flies, but this tops it all. They killed an animal that only entertained us.”