Hippo celebrates 50th birthday

July 1, 2008 5:28:57 AM PDT
One of Kiev Zoo's heavyweights was celebrating her birthday on Monday.

Bresta the hippopotamus was born 50 years ago - and the event was drawing in the crowds.

Children waited expectantly for the star birthday girl to make an appearance.

The diva was playing hard to get - it took a range of cards and tributes to get her to come out and greet her fans.

But she finally emerged from her abode, much to the delight of her birthday party guests.

Visitors bore gifts of food - Bresta is known to be fond of carrots, apples, pears, bananas and oranges.

Bresta was born in 1958 in Munich and then taken to St. Petersburg's Zoo.

In 1960, as part of a programme on the breeding of rare and endangered animals she was sent to the Kiev Zoo, where she still lives.