Hippo Nuts

This article starts off with:

Chances are you've never wondered how difficult it is to remove the testes of a hippopotamus.

Bitch, you don't know me.

Why It's Nearly Impossible to Castrate a Hippo:

The first challenge is that hippopotamuses hide their genitals. The testes are inside the body, instead of outside in a scrotum. (Other mammals in the internal-testes club, since you asked, include the armadillo, sloth, whale, and platypus.) This makes the hippo's testes totally invisible from the outside. Combined with a penis that the paper's authors describe as "discreet," it means it's hard to tell males from females at a distance. [...]

Even after finding the sneaky organs, the procedure wasn't simple. The depth of the testes' hiding places varied by as much as 16 inches from one hippo to the next. Everything had to be done deep inside the animal's body, making it hard to see what was going on. "Grasping the testicle with forceps proved laborious" in most of the animals, the authors write. They also mention using a "two-handed technique" and "moderate traction." The whole hour-and-a-half procedure, based on a method for castrating horses, is described in detail for anyone who wants to try it themselves.

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4 Responses:

  1. "You'll find that my nuts require extra attention today."

  2. phuzz says:

    You missed quoting this bit:

    Once they had positioned the animal, they used ultrasound imaging to find the testes—then used it again after cutting into the hippo, if the testis they were looking for had scooted farther away from them.

    I like to think my internal organs would try and crawl away from someone trying to cut them out.
    That is the one thing that puzzles me, as far as I've seen in large farm animals, standard practise is just to cut the tubes, rather than a full on castration. Only takes about 5 minutes for a good vet to chop the tubes on a young bull (bullock? or is that what they're called after the snip?).

    • Testosterone is manufactured in the testes. So if the objective includes behavior modification by getting rid of that testosterone, as it is here, then it's necessary to remove the testes.

      They're not only trying to sterilize the animals.

    • Aidan Kehoe says:

      Bullock is a term used after the snip, though I understand “steer” is the usual US word. Wikipedia tells me that “bullock” can mean “young bull” in the US, which I’m surprised to read.

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