Hippo

Zoo Miami’s New Pygmy Hippo Calf “Jumps Right In!”

1_

An endangered male Pygmy Hippo was born on August 4 at Zoo Miami. After several weeks of private time, bonding with his mother, the yet unnamed calf recently made its public debut.

Zoo staff were very careful to ensure that the infant’s introduction to the exhibit was done slowly and with an abundance of caution. The exhibit pool is being kept at a reduced level until staff are confident that the baby is a good swimmer and can navigate the exhibit well.

Initial indications were that this baby would have no trouble adjusting as once he was given access to the pool with his mother, they both jumped right in! In very little time, he was swimming quite well and soon started to jump and dive freely, seeming to thoroughly enjoy his new surroundings! The plan is to give mother and son access everyday beginning at approximately 10:00AM and then bring them back into their sleeping area at approximately 3:00PM. As the infant becomes more independent and comfortable in the exhibit, he and his mother will gradually be given access for longer periods of time.

2_11
2_11
2_11Photo Credits: Zoo Miami / Ron Magill

 

This is only the second Pygmy Hippo birth in Zoo Miami’s history, with the last one being born in 2010 and both belonging to 26-year-old Kelsey. Kelsey was born at the Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana and arrived at Zoo Miami in May of 1993. “Ralph” is the 5-year-old first time father. He was born at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska and arrived at Zoo Miami in March of 2017. Ralph will remain separated from mother and son as in the wild, Pygmy Hippos are solitary and the father has no role in raising the young and could be a potential threat to the baby should he have access.

Pygmy Hippos are a much smaller version of their well-known cousins, the common River Hippo, and usually weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, whereas River Hippos can reach 6,000 pounds. In addition, they are less aquatic than River Hippos and are usually seen alone or in pairs rather than in large groups.

Pygmy Hippos are also more rare and are classified as endangered with only about 3,000 individuals believed to be in the wild, where they feed on a variety of plants and fruits. They are restricted to small isolated populations within the interior forests and rivers of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast, where they are threatened by deforestation and hunting for meat. Because of their rarity and shy behavior, very little is known about their habits in the wild.

More great pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Zoo Miami’s New Pygmy Hippo Calf “Jumps Right In!”" »


Rub-a-dub-dub, A Pygmy Hippo In The Tub

IMG_7580

A Pygmy Hippo calf born at The Toronto Zoo on August 10 is already hugely popular thanks to videos shared by her care team that show her climbing, snuggling, taking a bath, and being generally adorable.

Born to mom Kindia and dad Harvey, the female calf is the first to be born at the zoo in more than 20 years. Pygmy Hippos are pregnant for 180-210 days. So far, Kindia is being an excellent mom and the calf nurses from her regularly. Pygmy Hippo calves nurse for six to eight months, and they begin eating solid foods around two to four months of age.

The calf has not yet been named.

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 1Photo Credit: The Toronto Zoo




 

At birth, Pygmy Hippos weigh about 10 – 14 pounds. This little calf is gaining weight steadily, and already weighed more than 25 pounds at three weeks of age. Adults weigh 400-600 pounds.

Each morning, the baby gets a bath so she can get clean and become acclimated to water, which is where adult hippos spend much of their time. Her care team notes that she rolls over in the tub and even blows bubbles. Even when it’s not officially bathtime, the calf sneaks in a little soak by climbing into her water dish for a quick dip.

Kindia and her calf are currently living in a private maternity habitat and are not visible to the public. This allows mother and baby time to bond and for the care team to maintain a close eye on the new arrival.

This birth is very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Only 2,000-3,000 remain in West Africa’s forests, with most of that population in Liberia. Small numbers are also found in Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. 

Over the past 100 years, Pygmy Hippo habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming, and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

Kindia arrived at the Toronto Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Fleche in Sarthe, France in 2016 as part of a global breeding program. The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and to support conservation efforts to save this incredible species.

“Partnering with our colleagues by bringing Kindia over from France to mate with our male Hippo has allowed us to strengthen the genetics of the global population,” said Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo.  


Hippo Calf is Disney's First in 13 Years

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 4.12.07 PM
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is delighted to announce the birth of a Nile Hippopotamus, the first Hippo born at the park in 13 years.

Born on January 13 at approximately 10 p.m., the calf is staying close to mom Tuma. The animal care team is giving Tuma and her calf plenty of room to nurse and bond, so the calf’s gender and weight may not be known for some time. Typically, a newborn Hippo calf weighs between 60 and 110 pounds.

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 4.11.36 PM
Calf Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 4
Photo Credit: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Adult Hippos weigh 2,500-3,300 pounds. They are the world’s third-largest type of land mammal. Hippos reside near water, often spending the day submerged and leaving the water at night to graze on grasses. They live in groups of a few dozen animals. The mouth, the position of which is an important communication tool among members of a bloat (group of Hippos), can open to 180 degrees.

Hippos can hold their breath for several minutes before surfacing to breathe. If a Hippo is asleep underwater, it remains asleep as it rises to the surface to breathe.

Tuma and her mate Henry were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Nile Hippopotamus is a Vulnerable species with a declining population. This birth is an important contribution to the worldwide conservation and understanding of these creatures.

 


Life Is Going Swimmingly for New Hippo Calf

1_SDZ Hippo calf

The San Diego Zoo welcomed a newborn Hippopotamus calf to its Lost Forest habitat on September 22.

The curious baby is reported to be healthy and is staying close to mother, Funani. This is the 12th calf born to Funani and father, Otis. Keepers will give the calf a name when they are able to confirm the sex. For now, guests of the San Diego Zoo can hope to catch a glimpse of the baby with Funani during normal operating hours.

2_SDZ Hippo calf

3_SDZ Hippo calfPhoto Credits: San Diego Zoo

The Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or Hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous and aggressive mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis).

Although the Hippo is currently only classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List, their habitat has been greatly reduced over the last 200 years. Even more devastating to Hippo populations is the current trade in illegal ivory. Following the 1989 ban on Elephant ivory, demand for Hippo ivory has sharply increased. The large canines that Hippos use to protect themselves are made of the same material as Elephants’ tusks. In fact, they are slightly softer and easier to carve than Elephant ivory, making them even more appealing to ivory buyers. As a result, Hippo numbers are rapidly decreasing.

According to the Zoo, if Hippos were to disappear completely, the effect on their habitat would be catastrophic. The large amount of waste that Hippos produce provides important nutrients for their African ecosystem. In addition, many species of fish eat the dung and feed on the small parasites that live on the Hippos’ skin.


Here Is the Latest on Memphis Zoo’s Sassy Hippo!

1_Photo May 04  9 06 08 AM

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”.

2_Photo May 04  9 06 06 AM

3_20170503_172407

4_20170503_172542Photo Credits: Memphis Zoo

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.

Continue reading "Here Is the Latest on Memphis Zoo’s Sassy Hippo!" »


Fiona the Hippo Moves to the Big Pool

20170408-DSC_0084lo-635x440Fiona, the Hippo born six weeks prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo, is making steady progress under the watchful eyes of her care team.  Fans around the world follow Fiona’s journey toward health and independence, and she has become an internet sensation.

You first learned of Fiona’s premature birth here on ZooBorns.  Because Fiona was born early, she was unable to stand on her own and nurse like a full-term baby would.  As a result, her mother, Bibi, was not able to provide care.  That’s when zoo keepers stepped in to assist the baby, who weighed 29 pounds – less than half the weight of a normal newborn Hippo.

17883700_10155017561125479_7636516047649470551_n
17757231_10155000282035479_5013540757471228567_n
Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

Since then, keepers have helped Fiona overcome many developmental hurdles, including learning to walk, swim, and nurse.  Fiona now weights 150 pounds, and drinks more than 2.5 gallons of formula per day.

Fiona is now mastering the art of navigating deeper waters. Hippos don’t actually swim – they float, sink, and push off the bottom with their feet, breaking the surface to take in a breath of air.  So far, Fiona has been swimming in “kiddie pools” of increasing depth.  Last week, zoo keepers introduced Fiona to the indoor pools used by her parents.  The water levels will be gradually increased as Fiona becomes more confident.

The most common question asked of zoo keepers is “When will Fiona be reunited with her parents?”  The zoo staff explains that this is a gradual process that depends entirely on the Hippos’ reaction to each other.  Because Fiona and her mother Bibi were not together during the first two weeks of Fiona’s life, they did not form a strong natural bond and Bibi likely does not recognize Fiona as her offspring.  That doesn't mean that Henry and Bibi will not accept Fiona into the bloat (as a group of Hippos is called).  But introducing a 150-pound baby to two adults who weigh more than 3,000 pounds each will be approached carefully.

For now, zoo keepers allow Fiona to interact with her parents across a wire mesh barrier.  The Hippos' reactions have ranged from curiosity to indifference.  The staff expects the introduction process to be slow and completely guided by concerns for Fiona’s health and well-being.

 


Memphis Zoo’s Beautiful Bundle of Joy Needs a Name

1_

A big, beautiful bundle of joy has joined the Memphis Zoo family. The Zoo’s Nile Hippopotamus, Binti, gave birth to a healthy girl on March 23.

The 76-pound calf, which is soon-to-be-named, made her public debut April 8.

The Memphis Zoo is asking for help naming the calf. A contest is being held on the Memphis Zoo’s website: www.memphiszoo.org . The contest kicked off Thursday, April 6 and runs through Thursday, April 13 at noon.

“This is one of our most significant births in a long, long time,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs at the Memphis Zoo. “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.”

Mother and baby are bright and alert and can be seen in their new exhibit in Zambezi River Hippo Camp during the mornings.

“Binti is an extremely attentive mother and is very protective of her calf,” said Farshid Mehrdadfar, curator of the Memphis Zoo’s West Zone. “The little lady follows her mom around everywhere, and you can typically find her asleep on Binti’s nose or back.”

2_babyhippo3

3_BabyHippo1

4_Photo Mar 25  8 06 50 AMPhoto Credits: Memphis Zoo

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.”

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.

For more information on the new calf, as well as the opportunity to vote in the naming contest, visitors are encouraged to visit: www.memphiszoo.org/hippo .

Continue reading "Memphis Zoo’s Beautiful Bundle of Joy Needs a Name" »


Fiona the Preemie Hippo Tops 100 Pounds

17352433_10154941852100479_3804671967843059119_nFiona the Hippo has captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of fans since her premature birth was announced by the Cincinnati Zoo and shared here on ZooBorns. 

Fiona was born six weeks premature on January 24 and was unable to stand and nurse from her mother, Bibi.  After Bibi ignored her tiny baby, keepers decided to care for the baby in the zoo’s nursery.  Under the expert care of the zoo’s staff, Fiona has grown from a mere 29 pounds (less than half the normal weight for a Hippo calf) to more than 100 pounds today.

Pooltime_lo2-635x440
Pooltime_lo-500x334
Photo Credit:  Cincinnati Zoo

 

The zoo’s nursery staff has helped Fiona overcome several health hurdles, including underdeveloped lungs, finding the right milk formula for her, regulating her body temperature, and keeping her hydrated.  No other zoo has raised a premature baby Hippo before.

Fiona has learned to walk, including up a ramp leading into her exercise pool.  She has learned to swim and exhibits all the normal behaviors of a Hippo.

Keepers hope to reunite Fiona with Bibi and Henry, Fiona’s father. Bibi and Fiona were separated during the normal bonding time between mother and calf, so it is unlikely that Bibi will recognize Fiona as her offspring.  However, the staff expects Bibi and Henry to welcome Fiona into the bloat just as they would any other new Hippo.

Eventually, Fiona will become too large to be cared for in a hands-on manner by keepers.  For now, Fiona and her parents can see and hear each other, but they are separated by a protective barrier. The staff will begin working to transition Fiona to the bloat so she can become a well-adjusted Hippo.

 


17th Hippo Birth For Zoo de Granby

1_Hippo_naissance_11

Zoo de Granby recently celebrated the birth of a baby Hippo on February 27. 

The new calf is the 17th Hippo born at the zoo since 1973, and this is mom Polita’s sixth offspring. Polita arrived at the Canadian facility in July 2000 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is almost 20 years old.

The reproduction of the Hippopotamus is one of the great successes of the Granby Zoo. Since the arrival of the first two Hippos, Patriarch and Mermaid, the young ones have succeeded each other. With this new birth, Zoo de Granby is a proud participant in the conservation and protection of this animal species.

2_Hippo_naissance_2

3_Hippo_naissance_4

4_Hippo_naissance_5Photo Credits: Zoo de Granby 

The Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis).

The Common Hippopotamus is also semiaquatic, inhabiting rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps. During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water.

A mother typically gives birth to only one calf, although twins can occur. The young often rest on their mothers' backs when the water is too deep for them, and they swim under water to suckle. They also suckle on land when the mother leaves the water. Weaning starts between six and eight months after birth, and most calves are fully weaned after a year.

As of 2008, the species was classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List (International Union for the Conservation of Nature).

The Granby Zoo is proud, with this new birth, to participate in the conservation and protection of this species.

More great pics below the fold!

Continue reading "17th Hippo Birth For Zoo de Granby" »


Hippo Preemie Gets Intensive Care at Cincinnati Zoo

Hipponew
A baby Nile Hippopotamus arrived six weeks ahead of schedule at the Cincinnati Zoo, and the staff is now providing critical care for the premature calf, which is the first to be born at the zoo in 75 years.

Seventeen-year-old Hippo Bibi gave birth on January 24 but the calf, a female, was not expected until March.  Because the premature calf was unable to stand and nurse from Bibi, the veterinary staff moved the baby to the zoo’s nursery where she can receive around-the-clock care. Hippos are pregnant for about 243 days.

Hippo-2new
Hippo_pool-5Photo Credit:  Cincinnati Zoo



When the baby was two days old, staff placed her in a shallow pool.  The pool time will help her build strength and gain balance, and help to maintain an optimal body temperature of 96-98 degrees.  Most baby Hippos are born in the water, but they can't swim.

“We are giving her fluids and keeping her moist and warm,” said Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo. “Her little system is underdeveloped, and getting her to a healthy weight will be a challenge. Vets and animal staff are doing everything they can to get her through this critical time.”

You can find daily updates from the Cincinnati Zoo about the baby, which has been named Fiona, here.

The baby weighs 29 pounds, which is about 25 pounds lighter than the lowest recorded birth weight for this species.  The normal range for newborn Hippos is 55-120 pounds. “She looks like a normal calf but is very, very small. Her heart and lungs sound good and she is pretty responsive to stimuli, but we aren’t sure how developed her muscles and brain are,” said Gorsuch.  Adult Hippos weigh one-and-a-half to two tons.

When Bibi showed signs of labor, zoo staff performed an ultrasound that showed a major shift in the baby and confirmed that it was on the way.  During the procedure, keepers were able to collect milk from her.

“We’re hoping to get the baby to drink Bibi’s milk and other supplements from a bottle. We’ll continue to milk Bibi so we can provide these important nutrients to the baby and also stimulate production so she’s ready to nurse when the baby is strong enough to be back with mom,” said Gorsuch.

Continue reading "Hippo Preemie Gets Intensive Care at Cincinnati Zoo" »