Gloria is a female hippopotamus who resided in the Central Park Zoo as an attraction, all the while being good friends with Alex, Marty, and Melman. She acts as the older sister to the gang, often putting her foot down when the boys start to lose control. As a hippopotamus, Gloria had a passive nature when it came to most problems, and served as the voice of reason for her friends. At the time of Marty the zebra's birthday, Gloria is another animal in the Central Park Zoo and was one of the many attractions, drawing crowds that enjoyed seeing her swim about in her water tank. She would also receive the star treatment as one of the zoo's main attractions and attend Marty’s birthday party. At this party, Marty announced his wish upon blowing out the candles on his cake: to go to the wild. Gloria, Alex and Melman tried to have Marty come to his senses by telling him life out in the wilds was savage and difficult, whereas life in the zoos was adequate. Marty was unhappy at hearing this, and Gloria told Alex to go to console Marty. Later that night, however, Marty acted out his wish and headed straight for the Terminal Station so as to take a train and go to Connecticut, where Marty heard wide open spaces were found. Gloria urged both Alex and Melman to come with her to find Marty and bring him back before any people would notice. They were found, regardless, along with Mason and Phil, the two chimps, and a troupe of secretive penguins, all ending up tranquilized with darts. When they all came to, they found themselves in crates bound for Africa. When the penguins hijack the ship, the crates fall into the ocean and wash up on the island of Madagascar. After some confusion, they start to set up their own society and attract the attention of a lemur colony. In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Gloria expresses a desire to join in the zoo breeding program, in the hopes of finding a boyfriend. When the animals crash land in Africa, she attracts the attention of a hippo named Moto Moto.Though she thinks he is the ideal boyfriend at first, she realizes that he only loves her for her large,"plumpy" body, whereas Melman loves her for who she is. Realizing that she loves Melman back, she convinces him not to sacrifice himself into the volcano and Gloria grabs him by the horn and says, "It's crazy to think that I had to go half way around the world to find the perfect guy was right next door..." and then joins the other animals in rescuing Alex from Nana.