CINCINNATI, Ohio (WTXF/STORYFUL) - Some births go as planned, while others have special circumstances. Tuesday, the first Nile hippopotamus in 75 years at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens was born.
The baby hippo is a girl. The problem is, she was born six weeks early and needs critical care.
She can’t stand and nurse. That’s the reason for the bottle.
The zoo vet and nursery staff are giving her fluids and keeping her warm. They’d milked her mother and will continue to do so, to feed the baby along with supplements.
The zoo said the baby was born at 29 pounds, which is 25 pounds lighter than the lowest-recorded birth weight for a Nile hippo (54). The normal range 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 Christina Gorsuch, curator of mammals.
While the calf is being cared for near her mother, she can’t be reunited until she’s strong enough to stand.