The Zoo's first hippos stars: William and Rosamund
In 1913 two young hippos arrived at Melbourne Zoo. William and Rosamund, also known as Mr and Mrs Hippo, quickly became a popular attraction for zoo visitors.
During this time, hunters were paid by zoos to procure hippos and other animals from the wild and ship them around the world. The boat trips to Australia were long and many animals died during the journey.
In this era, the Zoo would also purchase animals from animal dealers. The first hippo to arrive at Melbourne Zoo in 1912 was purchased from Hagenback of Hamburg, one of the major international animal dealers.
Sourcing animals for Melbourne Zoo was also achieved through relationships with other zoos around the world. Melbourne Zoo traded Australian animals with other zoos or purchased animals from them to add to their collection.
150 years Melbourne Zoo, Zoos Victoria, Bounce Books, 2012
Almost Human: Reminiscences of Melbourne Zoo, A.A.W Wilkie, Whitcombe and Tombs,1920