Adhela or `Dil' arrived 160 years ago on 22 July 1854. She was the first living female hippopotamus in Europe since Roman times. The Viceroy of Egypt presented Adhela to ZSL London Zoo as a mate for Obaysch. Obaysch was the male hippopotamus who had arrived in 1850, causing a sensation - `Victorian hippomania'.
Adhela inhabited the zoo for over twenty eight years, dying on 16 December 1882. She gave birth to a female calf, Guy Fawkes, on 5 November 1872. Guy Fawkes was successfully reared by Adhela and grew to be a much larger animal. There was some controversy about the name Guy Fawkes but she did retain it.
Further reading :
The ark in the park : the zoo in the nineteenth century / Wilfrid Blunt, London : Hamish Hamilton, 1976.
London Zoo from old photographs 1852-1914 2nd ed / by John Edwards, London : Published by the author, 2012.
Victorian England's hippomania / by Nina J. Root in Natural History, 1993, Vol. 102, Part 2, pp. 34-39
Wild animals in captivity ...3rd ed / by A.D. Bartlett, compiled and edited by Edward Bartlett, London: Chapman Hall, 1899.
See our Hippomania display in ZSL Library - through October until 5 November 2014
ZSL Library welcomes visitors - if you are a ZSL member please bring your membership card when visiting ZSL Library. If you are not a member of ZSL will need proof of address and photographic ID when you visit.
Use our online catalogue to find more detailed information about specific items in our holdings. It also contains links to relevant online resources:
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