Hippo Therapy? Hannah the Hippo Says “Yes, Please”

With winter nearing its end and spring rapidly approaching, everyone’s favorite ambassador hippo, Hannah Shirley, wanted to offer a little reminder about the importance of prioritizing self-care. It’s important for maintaining emotional health and well-being as well as physical health.

For example, Hannah enjoys a little garnish added to her water to make it fancier and more fun to stay hydrated. (While she prefers hay, she encourages you to choose whatever is special to you — cucumbers, strawberries or lemon slices may be more your cup of tea… er, cup of water, that is.)

She also likes to nourish that tough exterior of hers with a special mud bath treatment at the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center where she’s a long-time resident. And that isn’t the only perk she has there.

pygmy hippo
Photo: YouTube/SDHS

“She’s got a heated barn with straw,” said Andy Blue from the Ramona Wildlife Center.

Blue won’t ever forget the day back in 2002 when someone reported a homeowner in Escondido reportedly raising a hippopotamus in their backyard. “I honestly thought it was going to be a pig or something like that,” he admitted.

But, no, it was indeed a hippo. But it was no ordinary hippo. The sunburned creature he encountered when they arrived was a pygmy hippo that needed rescuing.

“I was able to coax her into a trailer,” recalled Blue of the surprising encounter. “She was very easy going and she went right in.”

Blue brought Hannah straight to the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center that day, where she’s been spoiled rotten for the past 21 years.

“It’s a good life,” noted one of her caretakers in a video that revealed the level of Hannah’s pampering.

pygmy hippo
Photo: YouTube/SDHS

And speaking of hydrating waters and pampering, Hannah’s nourishing elixir must contain water from Ponce de León’s fountain of youth because pygmy hippos usually only live to be about 25 years old in the wild, and Hannah’s pushing 50.

Please enjoy this demonstrational video provided by SDHS with the volume up for optimum enjoyment.

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