Otis the ‘smiling hippo’ dies at San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO — A river hippopotamus named Otis has died at the San Diego Zoo. He was 45.

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Otis was nicknamed the “smiling hippo” at the zoo, The Associated Press reported. He got his nickname in 2010 when he was caught in a viral photo showing all his teeth in what appeared to be a big grin.

Otis was born wild in East Africa, before he was brought to San Diego in 2009 to breed. Otis has one calf that survived and continues to live at the zoo with its mother, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said Otis had been receiving care for degenerative joint and spinal disease. They made the decision to euthanize him when his condition deteriorated.