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Vilnius airport welcomes an exotic four-footed passenger


In the afternoon of Monday, 18 November, a plane will land in Vilnius airport with hippopotamus called Geluk on board, destined to a zoo in Lithuania.

The plane coming from Frankfurt is expected to land in Vilnius at 13:40. Once landed, the animal shall be taken to Kaunas and placed in the zoo. The travelling method was selected to ensure least inconvenience to the hippopotamus as well as shortest time to cover 4,000 km distance from Spain.

The hippopotamus has coped with the first leg of the trip successfully and reached Frankfurt (Germany) from Malaga (Spain). The cost to take Geluk to its new home in Kaunas exceeded LTL 20,000. These funds were contributed by sponsors of the zoo.

Hippopotamus Geluk was born in Fuengirola (Spain) zoo in 2012. The hippopotamus shall join the group of four dwarf hippopotami placed in the Lithuanian zoo. The zoo is now home to hippopotamus Klopsas (also called Grandpa), 35 years old, 34 year old female Vanda (brought here from the Czech Republic 8 years ago), 17 year old female Šešupė (destined for transfer to the Kaliningrad zoo under breeding programme) as well as female Coliukė, born in the zoo and just turned 5 last spring.

The zoo has been expecting a new male dwarf hippopotamus for over 6 years. The breeding of this type of hippopotami in captivity is particular in that females are born and survive more often, while there is a regular shortage of male hippopotamus cubs. When in captivity, dwarf hippopotami live to 35-45 years, and remain sexually active from 3 to 32 years. The zoo expects to see Geluk and Coliukė to form a promising couple.

Geluk, the new inmate at the Lithuanian zoo, shall pass a month in quarantine and shall be available to the visitors of the zoo in next spring.

Public Information Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas