Back in the spring, ZooBorns was happy to announce the arrival of a Nile Hippopotamus at the Memphis Zoo. (“Memphis Zoo’s Beautiful Bundle of Joy Needs a Name”)
Mom, Binti, gave birth to the healthy 76-pound girl on March 23, and the sassy little Hippo soon became a Zoo favorite.
“This is one of our most significant births in a long, long time,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs at the Memphis Zoo, after the calf’s debut. “It’s also incredibly special – as Binti and her baby are carrying on our legacy of Hippos in their brand new home, Zambezi River Hippo Camp.”
The new Hippo made her public debut April 8, and the Zoo immediately organized a naming contest for the new girl. After almost 23,000 votes were cast, the Zoo announced the winning name was “Winnie”.
This infant is the second for mother, Binti, and first for father, Uzazi. Nineteen-year-old Binti was born at the Denver Zoo. She arrived at Memphis in 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Her name means “daughter,” or “young lady,” in Swahili. Uzazi, the 16-year-old father, arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2016 in preparation for the opening of Zambezi River Hippo Camp. His name is derived from a Swahili word meaning “good parent.”
Memphis Zoo plans to have little Winnie and her mom, Binti, on exhibit everyday. However, they will rotate on exhibit with the Zoo’s other two adult Hippos, Splish and Uzazi.
On the first Wednesday of every month, the Zoo provides video updates on Winnie. Check their website: www.memphiszoo.org/hippo or Facebook page for news on Winnie.
According to the latest update from the Zookeepers, Winnie now weighs 250 pounds. The healthy girl is still nursing but is also following her mom’s lead and sampling other foods: hay, fruit, and grains.
This is a significant birth for the Memphis Zoo, and for the greater Hippo population, as only about 79 Hippos are currently on exhibit throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The species is currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List.
Sassy Winnie in the spring, soon after her public debut: