El Salvador's beloved national hippo is beaten to death

El Salvador's beloved national hippo is beaten to death
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By Catherine Hardy with EFE
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The country has reacted with shock and horror after Gustavito was beaten to death in his pen at the national zoo.

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There is shock and horror in El Salvador after the national zoo’s beloved hippotamus was beaten to death.

News of the death of Gustavito has been met with outrage.

The much-loved hippo was born and raised in Guatemala. He was brought to El Salvador 13 years ago.

Much-loved hippo Gustavito brutally beaten to death at zoo in El Salvador https://t.co/RAtu6pDrjVpic.twitter.com/dSSApBZZ9a

— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) 28 février 2017

What happened?

Reports confirmed the animal was covered with bruises and puncture wounds.

Gustavito appears to have been attacked with metal bars and rods last Tuesday night.

However, his keepers did not discover the hippo’s injuries until Thursday because he did not leave his pool.

He died of his injuries late on Sunday.

Beloved Hippo Gustavito Fatally Beaten In El Salvador Zoo https://t.co/zGhB9hgT1Mpic.twitter.com/XWtGsUezdo

— HuffingtonPost Maroc (@HuffPost_Maroc) 28 février 2017

What has the zoo said?

Speaking at a press conference, director Vladan Henriquez said it is not clear why the hippo was attacked.

Justice Minister Ramirez Landaverde said an investigation has been opened.

Is the zoo still open?

No.

It has been closed until further notice. Flowers have been left at the gates.

Social media: what they are saying

Gustavito’s killing has prompted a profound reaction on social media in El Salvador, one of the world’s most violent countries.

5,278 murders were recorded in the country last year, an average of 14 per day.

Most were blamed on powerful street gangs.

Whoever did this has to pay. My heart goes out to you and your keepers; may you rest in peace. #Gustavito#ElSalvadorpic.twitter.com/h4SiVwasCk

— Gigi Perla (@gigiips22) 27 février 2017

Descanse en paz #Gustavito#Responso by omarangulo503</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/eduardoramirez">eduardoramirez …. #todossomosGustavito#SLVhttps://t.co/60RL2uW8Hp

— jose marco garcia f (@ppgarciaferreir) 28 février 2017

francis95467346</a> <br><br>El ataque nos pinta como unos salvajes y lo somos eso es triste !! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Gustavito?src=hash">#Gustavito</a> :-( <a href="https://t.co/9O3nAM8Y1i">pic.twitter.com/9O3nAM8Y1i</a></p>&mdash; Daniela (TejadaLizz) 27 février 2017

Dear Hippo Gustavito I hope you are in the hippos heaven. We'll miss you. pic.twitter.com/Smy7uPSSxR

— Rudy (@r0ud24) 28 février 2017

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