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Headless hippo found at Mexico ranch

The nine-year-old hippo was found headless and skinned.

Image: Shutterstock/Martin Mecnarowski

THE HEADLESS AND skinned remains of a hippopotamus have been found at a central Mexico ranch, days after the animal escaped its pen and was struck by a car.

The nine-year-old female hippo died on Sunday when it was hit by a vehicle on a road in Puebla state after escaping from Rancho Dolores in Ciudad Serdan, an official at the federal environmental prosecutor’s office said.

When environmental inspectors went to the ranch, they found that the body, according to the prosecutor’s office, “lacked its head and skin, which were sent to a taxidermist”.

The hippo was able to escape because ranch workers had left the main entrance open and the pond where the animal lived lacked a perimeter fence, the statement said.

The ranch had not legally registered the hippo and the owner lacks a management plan, which demonstrates “clear irregularities,” the prosecutor’s office said.

The ranch faces a possible fine ranging between €180 and €180,000.

Another 29 animals, including two lions and a Bengal tiger, were seized from the property last April because the owners lacked certificates of origin, which they finally produced in November.

The hippo arrived at the ranch from a circus on 26 December.

A new law last year prohibited the use of wild animals in circus shows, forcing owners to find new homes for their animals.

- © AFP, 2016

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