Obaysch was found near an island in the Nile, from which he took his name. He arrived in London on 25 May 1850 and became the first hippo to reach Europe since the days of the Roman Empire. Despite lacking the engaging appearance and nature normally associated with Zoo stars, he quickly became the rage in London. Queen Victoria inspected him shortly after his arrival. In 1854 a female, Adhela, joined him. In 1871 Obaysch fathered ZSL London Zoo’s first baby hippo. Sadly, it did not survive. In 1872 two more were born, and the second of these, named Guy Fawkes because of its birthday (although subsequently discovered to be female), became the first captive-bred hippo to be reared by its mother.
Learn more about these famous ZSL animals by searching for them in the ZSL Archive catalogue.View In Archive