Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: July 22, 2021 12:59 pm
The hippo calf born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on July 20th 2021 is seen swimming in the water. This is the first hippo born at the zoo in 32 years.
After 3 decades staff at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo have celebrated the birth of a Nile hippo calf to mother Zambezi on July 20th 2021. Born in the water at 1:57pm the calf soon popped out of the water and swam over to meet mom. The arrival comes after an eight month gestation period.
Guests can now meet Zambezi and her calf at the zoo's Water's Edge: Africa habitat. If Zambezi and her calf need quiet time to bond the area may be closed temporarily.
A video of the hippo calf which was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on July 20th 2021
Video Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
“It was an incredible moment to see this beautiful baby join our family,” said Philip Waugh, lead keeper at Water’s Edge: Africa. “Zambezi’s a first-time mom, but she knew just what to do. As soon as she delivered the calf, she turned around to greet it and started helping it to shallow water. I’m so proud of her.”
As the first hippo calf at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 32 years it is a welcome arrival for the Nile hippo population which is currently considered vulnerable to extinction.
Keepers will name the calf after it is 1 month old. Keepers are prioritizing the bond of Zambezi and her calf and will not separate them for a medical exam unless absolutely necessary. As such it will be some time before the gender is determined.
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Zambezi joined the Nile hippo herd at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo during 1993. In June 2020 she was joined by male Biko. He was recommended to breed with Zambezi and her sister Kasai. He wasted no time in winning the heart of Zambezi.
“Like any new couple, their first ‘dates’ had a few awkward moments, but once they connected, it was full-on hippo love,” said Waugh. “The two of them wanted to be together constantly, and we accommodated! They would do a hippo breeding ‘dance’ where they would swim nose-to-rear in a circle. We also saw them taking turns resting their heads on each other’s rear ends for little pool naps. They made it clear they liked each other. We saw their first successful breeding in November.”
The hippo calf born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on July 20th 2021 is seen swimming with mom. This is the first hippo born at the zoo in 32 years.
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo