Who wouldn't want a hippopotamus for Christmas? The Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed Francesca, a 26-year-old pygmy hippo, from her old home at the San Diego Zoo. On hand to greet Franny was Gayla Peevey, the original child singer of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." When Gayla was 10, in 1953, her novelty holiday song prompted a public campaign to buy a hippo for the zoo. Sure enough, Matilda the hippo arrived on Christmas Eve of that year.