Tags: san diego | zoo | hippo | bonding | mother

San Diego Zoo: Hippo Newborn Goes Swimming With Mom Hours After Birth

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 08:03 AM

The San Diego Zoo announced the birth of a baby hippo this week, and said it's bonding nicely with its mother.

According to NBC San Diego, the little hippopotamus was born to longtime zoo resident Funani, 30, and her mate Otis on Monday around 6:30 a.m.

The yet-to-be named newborn weighed roughly 50 pounds at birth. The baby's sex is also unknown, as zoo officials haven't interfered for fear of disturbing the bonding process between baby and mom.

"We don’t force it," Rick Schwartz, ambassador for the zoo, told ABC News. "We wait for the relationship for mom and baby to be established and make sure everything’s going well there. If we see mom out on the beach or away from baby, we’ll take a look then."

Just hours after being born, the newborn went for a swim with a little help from Funani in their 150,000-gallon pool.

"What you’re seeing is mom teaching the baby how to surface for air," said Schwartz. "A baby can hold its breath roughly 40 seconds to a minute. Although this may look like they’re playing, it’s an important life lesson on how you surface and how you take a breath."

After the swim the newborn was hungry, and had a proper nursing session — a good sign that the baby is likely to grow up healthy and strong. Newborn hippos typically nurse for eight months.

The newborn is the fifth hippo calf raised by Funani at the zoo.



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The San Diego Zoo announced the birth of a baby hippo this week, and said it's bonding nicely with its mother.
san diego, zoo, hippo, bonding, mother
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2015-03-27
Friday, 27 Mar 2015 08:03 AM
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