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Happy hippos get early treats

Robert Chacon

A couple of hippopotamuses at the Los Angeles Zoo on Thursday got

their treats early as part of the zoo’s kickoff to a weekend of

Halloween events.


The pair, 30-year-old Otis and 38-year-old Maggie, did not have to

perform any tricks for their annual feast of pumpkins, apples and

corn stalks. After their caretakers opened the doors to their pen,

the hippos splashed into their pool and propped themselves against


the front wall of the enclosure, where zoo employees tossed apples

into their gaping jaws.

Otis and Maggie made such a commotion crunching on apples and

pumpkins that animals in the surrounding exhibits seemed a bit


After glaring intently at the chomping couple through the bars of

her pen doors, Rhonda, an Indian rhinoceros, crashed her horn against

the bars in a futile but impressive attempt to join the feast. In


another nearby exhibit, a black bear climbed on a high perch to view

the commotion.

The zoo will hold its annual Halloween event, “Boo at the Zoo,”

Saturday and Sunday, which will feature four theme areas: Freaky Fun

House, Pumpkin Patch Place, Halloween Down Under and Creepy Creature

Encounter. The events include a Halloween costume contest, magicians,

pumpkin carvers and children’s entertainment.

Los Angeles Zoo is at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles, and is open


from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9, $4 for children 2 to 12.

Halloween activities are free and visitors wearing a costume get $1

off admission. For more information, call (323) 644-6400.