Baby hippo makes debut dip
Monday 30 July 2012
A baby hippo at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo made a big splash when she took her first swim in her outdoor pool.
Ten-month-old Hula, who was the first Common Hippo born at the Zoo in six years, made her debut dip in the Zoo’s public pool today.
She was named Hula by her keepers as a mix between her mum and dad’s names, Hoover and Lola, and mum kept a close eye on the youngster as she took her first swim.
Africa section team leader Mark Holden said: “Hula is Hoover and Lola’s first-born and they have done an excellent job with her so far. It's great to be able to introduce her to the outdoor paddock and she seemed to love taking her first dip.”
(C) Simon Webster
Hula weighed a hefty six stone (40kg) when she was born last September after a 240-day gestation period and will one day weigh approximately 220 stone (1,400kg) when she is fully grown, and reach up to 1.6 metres in height.
Classed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and under threat from poaching and habitat, Hula is a much welcomed addition to the European Studbook for common hippos.