Salvadoran Officials Are Looking For Those Responsible For The Death Of Gustavito The Hippo

Salvadorans are mourning the death of Gustavito, a 15-year-old hippopotamus who was brutally beaten to death by an unknown assailant at the National Zoological Park in San Salvador, El Salvador. In a country that has seen thousands of deaths over the past year linked to gang violence, the death of Gustavito has sent shockwaves through the Central American country.

Citizens in El Salvador are outraged over the senseless death of Gustavito.

Late on the evening of February 26, Gustavito died after a sustained and still mysterious beating from the week before. The hippopotamus was found with bruises and lacerations all over his body.

Salvadorans nationwide are mourning the death of one of the zoo’s most beloved animals.

“The Secretary of Culture regrets to inform the country that on Sunday, February 26, hippo Gustavito has died,” reads a press release from the zoo. “His death occurred due to serious complications in his health caused by the severe and forceful blows and injuries that he received on several parts of his body in a cowardly and inhumane attack that is being investigated. Veterinarians will perform the necropsy to determine, in more detail, the cause of death.”

Many can’t understand why someone would attack an animal in a zoo.

According to CNN, zoo director Vladen Henríquez said that “there were injuries inside his mouth” that were likely caused when “the animal tried to defend itself.”

Throughout El Salvador, people paid their respects to Gustavito.

“The death of #Gustavito has definitely moved us all,” wrote Twitter user @OwitOx.

In San Salvador, a candlelight vigil was held for the fallen animal.

According to NBC News, Gustavito was born and raised in Guatemala but was transported to the zoo in San Salvador 13 years ago.

Some are demanding that the zoo close and find those responsible.

In a country torn apart by violence, the death of Gustavito has dealt the country an unexpected blow.

According to the Washington Post, 5,278 people were murdered in El Salvador last year. Based on a population size of 6 million, El Salvador has the worst murder rate of the Western Hemisphere.

RIP, Gustavito.

Twitter user @Alexander2324lf wrote: “What heartless person could try to hurt a poor animal. #Gustavito ?”

READ: Endangered Baby Dolphin Dies Because Tourists Wanted To Take Selfies With It…Seriously

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