Mama Petite

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Mama Petite (born c. 1957 - died March 8, 2007) was a hippopotamus who was on exhibit at the Birmingham Zoo from her capture in the wild in 1959 until her death.

She was joined in 1979 by a younger male companion, Tadpole (born 1978). In all, Mama Petite gave birth to nine offspring, all of which have been transferred to other zoos. One of them, "Bunny" was born on Easter morning in 1993.

Mama Petite enjoyed bobbing for apples in her wading pool, and was especially fond of peanut butter and marshmallows. She weighed 2,800 pounds. She suffered a severe sun-burn in 2005 that resulted in a a recurring and increasingly-untreatable skin condition.

On the morning of March 8, 2007, after several days of sharply-declining health, Mama Petite was euthenized in her enclosure. She is survived by Tadpole.


  • Robinson, Carol (March 9, 2007) "Mama Petite, Birmingham Zoo hippo, dies at 50". Birmingham News.

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