Beloved hippo dies after brutal attack at zoo

By Susana Victoria Perez, Buzz60

A zoo in El Salvador is mourning the loss of a beautiful animal.

Until recently, the country's National Zoo had a very popular Hippocalled Gustavito.

But the 15-year-old hippo started acting strangely according to zoo officials.

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They discovered injuries inside his mouth, on his feet and bruises, puncture wounds, and lacerations all over his body.

Gustavito was victim to a violent attack and a few days later he passed away despite the zoo's best effort to save him.

Authorities are investigating who could have entered Gustavito's enclosure and beat him with what appears to be an ice pick.

Rocks and pieces of metal were also found in the area.

Some people have left flowers at the zoo's gate.

Others are mourning him on social media with the hashtag #TodosSomosGustavito (meaning we're all Gustavito) and the phrase "forgive us Gustavito."

Some are connecting his death to the ongoing violence in El Salvador.

There were more than 66,000 homicides in 2015, giving the country the worst murder rate in the western hemisphere.