Planet China

Hungry hippos

With the Expo now over, how is Shanghai going to continue to attract tourists? The Shanghai Daily offers one prospect. The local zoo has made a special new toothbrush for its three hippos – and visitors can watch the animals having their teeth cleaned every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The toothbrush is 1.2 metres long, and is reckoned to be an improvement on the previous technique used to ensure the hippos dental hygiene: large brooms.

But how do hippos stay minty white in the wild, you may (not) be asking? “Usually, wild hippos don’t need their teeth cleaned as they usually eat grass which is not likely to get stuck in the gap between their teeth,” assures Pan Xiuwen, an official with the zoo. “But at the zoo, we feed them fruit and vegetables which can easily get stuck in their teeth.”


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