Denver Zoo’s oldest resident, Bertie the hippo, will begin celebrating his 57th “BertDay” August 16 – 21 with activities and cake for the birthday hippo. Each day this week at 11 a.m., Bert will get a special birthday treat and hippo demonstrations. Visitors can also enjoy a historic display of clippings from Bert’s time at Denver Zoo. Children are invited to sign a hippo-sized card for Bert. The celebration will conclude on Bertie’s official birthday, August 21.
On August 16 and 21 guests can find the celebration in the outdoor hippo yard, weather allowing. On August 17, 18, 19 and 20 the celebration will be held inside the Pachyderm exhibit.
Everyone named “Bert” is invited to visit the zoo for free in honor of Bert’s birthday during this event! Bert, Robert, Roberta, Bertha, Herbert, Norbert, Berthold. . . .all guests who are 57 years old also receive free admission. Present your ID at the ticket counter when you check in and get in free in honor of Bert’s celebration! Offer only valid Aug 16-21.
Bertie, affectionately called Bert, has lived at Denver Zoo longer than any other animal resident. Bert arrived at the zoo on December 16, 1958 from Central Park Zoo and was the first hippopotamus to ever reside at Denver Zoo. Bert is the father of every hippo calf born at the zoo. He has only had two mates his entire life, and has fathered 29 hippopotamuses!
Bertie Came to Denver Zoo as a donation from Arthur E. and Helen Johnson. The Johnsons were pioneers in the development of Denver Zoo and long-time supporters. Helen Johnson was a former Denver Zoological Foundation Trustee and chaired its board for many years. The couple bid on Bertie in an auction and secured travel arrangements for him when he was two years old. Upon seeing young Bertie in New York, Mrs. Johnson said “he has a lot of personality and will make a find addition to the City Park Zoo.”
A fine addition indeed – the young hippo was a media sensation and his arrival was greatly anticipated. Throughout the years Bertie has been one of the most documented animals at Denver Zoo and has been featured in numerous stories in the daily papers. Bertie is one of Denver Zoo’s most well-known animals and visitor favorite.