Funani, an experienced hippopotamus mother, birthed her 11th calf at the San Diego Zoo on March 23rd at 6:30 a.m. Though zoo officials do not know yet if it’s a boy or a girl, they’ve announced that both the brand new baby and the 30 year old mother are doing well. Above, Mama and baby just after birth. Below, the river hippo calf at just three days old:
Related watching: Baby Hippo Monifa takes her first swim at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and Florentijn Hofman’s HippopoThames. Plus: More zoo babies.
Hippo calves are estimated to weigh about 50 pounds at birth and they typically nurse for about eight months. The baby will likely stay very close to Funani during the first several weeks.
The hippopotamus is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, known as the IUCN. The primary threats to hippos are illegal and unregulated hunting, for meat and the ivory found in the canine teeth, and habitat loss. Hippos can still be found in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
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