(つ◔౪◔)つ━☆゚.*・。゚ The 2022 TKSST Gift Guide ✩°。⋆・゚  
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The Kid Should See This

Omo, a 9-month-old hippo calf at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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“Our little hippo calf, Omo, is 9 months old, and he’s outgrown the baby-proofing in his indoor training area! He’s nursing less and eating more solid foods, which are helping him grow up big and strong. He recently weighed in at 435 pounds. That may seem huge to us, but Omo is still just a baby. He lives full-time with his mom, Zambezi, and has been learning to communicate with his aunt, Kasai, and dad, Biko, who live separately in the same habitat, by making little ‘chuffing’ noises.

“Keepers have seen Omo’s personality continue to get bigger, along with the rest of him. They say he doesn’t just enter a room; he explodes into it.”

Omo's entrance
Meet young Omo, a baby Nile hippopotamus at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Philip Waugh, lead keeper in Water’s Edge: Africa, shares Omo’s late April 2022 milestones in the video above.

Omo was born at the zoo in July 2021, the first hippo born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 32 years.

“The moment brought eagerly awaiting CMZoo staff members to happy tears as the baby Nile hippo – a species vulnerable to extinction in the wild – made its debut…”

Omo's birth

“Only 30 organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in North America, including Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, house hippos. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes Nile hippopotamuses as a species vulnerable to extinction in the wild, estimating 125,000 to 150,000 remain in their native habitats. The primary threats are habitat loss and illegal and unregulated hunting. Hippos are hunted for their meat and for their ivory canine teeth.

As first-time parents, Biko’s and Zambezi’s offspring represents an important contribution to the population of hippos in human care. The Nile Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan manages the population’s breeding recommendations to achieve the highest possible genetic diversity in the pool.”

The zoo has documented their hippos regularly since the Waters Edge: Africa exhibit construction began to wrap up in 2019 and 2020. The video below is a sweet compilation of Omo’s first six months.

little Omo and a watermelon

Related exploration at The Met: Hippopotami in Ancient Egypt and Scientific American‘s A Quick History of Hippopotamuses.

Plus, more hippo videos on TKSST, including:
Baby hippo Fiona’s never-before-seen moments
• Baby Hippo Makes a Splash at the San Diego Zoo
• A baby pygmy hippo swims with mum in Melbourne
A hippo gets his teeth brushed
• Hippos eating watermelons at Nagasaki Biopark
• Spy Hippo spies on an underwater hippopotamus spa

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