New Hippo and Diving Beetles at the L.A. Zoo

CONTACT: L.A. Zoo Press

July 9, 2013

hippo_tmWith the recent hot weather the Los Angeles Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of two aquatic species – a hippopotamus and over 40 diving beetles.

The hippo, a young male named Adhama arrived at the Zoo in mid June. Adhama was born on January 26, 2011 at the San Diego Zoo. His father, Otis, is on loan to the San Diego Zoo from the Los Angeles Zoo. Otis was a resident of the L.A. Zoo for over 30 years before he moved to San Diego Zoo in early 2009 to breed with their female Funami.

Zoo visitors can view Adhama daily in his habitat adjacent to the Indian rhino and Sumatran tigers.

The word “hippo” is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning river horse. Hippos are native to the waterways of east, central and southern Africa. They tend to spend most of the day in water and then come out on land at night to feed.

Despite their rotund appearance hippos are quite dangerous and are responsible for more human fatalities each year in Africa than any other animal.

divingbeetles_irThey are herbivores but are very territorial and can easily outpace a human on land. They naturally secrete a red substance on their bodies which looks like blood but it actually protects their skin from sunburn.

In other Zoo news, a new habitat has been added to the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates & Reptiles) for sunburst diving beetles. The sunburst diving beetles are native to Arizona, New Mexico and the Sonoran regions of Mexico. They can fly, crawl or live in water. These colorful beetles have a black carapace with bright yellow or golden spots. They are always found near or in water where they feed on mosquito larvae.

At the L.A. Zoo, visitors can see them up close diving in their aquarium inside the LAIR.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways, where it hosts over 1.6 million visitors each year. The Zoo is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals, many of which are rare or endangered. New exhibits include the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), Elephants of Asia, and Campo Gorilla Reserve. Admission is $18 for adults and $13 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10am to 5pm daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200.