Common hippo baby basks in the Whipsnade sunshine
Thursday 20 July 2000
DATE: Friday 21 July 2000
PLACE: Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Bedfordshire (meet at the Estate Office)
CONTACT: Susan Wilks/Amy Hayward, RPPR.
TEL: 020 7881 3232
BABY COMMON HIPPO TAKES FIRST BASK IN THE
SUNSHINE AT WHIPSNADE
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park's common hippos, Nigna (female) & Ben are the proud parents of two-week old baby, as yet unnamed. The Park's latest arrival, born at the beginning of July, is the second for Whipsnade's two common hippos.
The latest addition to the Park has been making her first explorations of her new home, where visitors to Whipsnade can view the animals indoors as well as outside. "She has been getting quite adventurous", commented keeper Mark Best, "checking out all areas of her new paddock - she's already totally at home in the water."
The common hippo can live for 45 - 50 years and when grown to full, adult size, will consume one bale of meadow hay daily supplemented with fruit and vegetables. With its ears, eyes and nose set on top of the head, the common hippo can remain submerged in water, but still be aware of its surroundings. When out of water, the hippo's skin exudes a red fluid which was once thought to be blood. It is an oily substance which protects the skin from the sun and may also disinfect wounds on fighting males.
Watch 'Zoo' every Wednesday evening at 7.30pm starting July 19 until September 6. The programme takes viewers behind the scenes at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park providing moving and intimate portraits of animals and their keepers.
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