Do hippopotamuses have anxiety about the dentist? Hippo-endodontist? Hippo-periodontist? Or, is it the dentist who might have concerns facing down a beautiful animal weighing anywhere from 3k to 9k lbs for a full-grown hippo? What if the patients were a bloat? How many dentists would you need? And if a hippo is to be castrated, is a dentist visit part of the process?
In this National Geographic video, "Hippo Dental Care: The Invaders," Orion, one of the four hippos that Pablo Escobar kept at his large hacienda and now living at the Medillin zoo, gets a visit from the dentist. "This hippo has a cavity in its gigantic chomper, and it's up to the zoo's vet to fill it."
You may be thinking of your experience with a dentist, getting a tooth pulled, a cavity filled, or maybe even the joy of a root canal, and how it is not something to desire or look forward to. Orion seems perfectly content with the dental work.
It seems that teeth issues do not limit the procreative capacities of these creatures; after all, evolution is about choice, according to Darwin's cousin Herbert Spencer.
Castration is in the future for the offspring of the four hippos, one male and three females, that were part of Escobar's exotic animal collection and are now "roaming the Colombian ecosystem" after being abandoned when Escobar was killed in 1993. From Escobar's Hacienda in Nápoles, Colombia, the hippos made their way to the Magdalena River. There are approximately 140 calves are now in existence.
As reported at CBC Radio in October of 2022, "To be honest, it is very complicated. Everything with hippos are difficult because of their size,' the wildlife veterinarian [Carlos Valderrama] told As It Happens host Nil Köksal. Valderrama works with a wildlife charity called Webconserva to solve Colombia's hippo problem. 'Where the hippos are located right now, there [are not] many people. But as the population spreads in the territory, we have a lot of fishermen living in the area. So the more interaction [that happens between them], the more attacks that will happen. And that's what we are trying to prevent,' he said."
Check out this BB post, "Are Pablo Escobar's horny cocaine hippos legally people?"