mama and baby hippo swim

December 19, 2008


I swear that despite this photo and this post, I don’t have a hippo thing going. But this series of photos of Berlin Zoo’s latest addition taught me more than I ever knew about how these creatures make their appearance on earth. This three-week old baby is not as stuffed-toy cute as Knut was, but then again that did all end very sadly.

What I learnt:

Weighing in at 40kg, the baby hippopotamus swims alongside her mother, Kathi. The calf is Kathi’s second baby and the first hippo to be born at Berlin Zoo in three years. Female hippos reach sexual maturity at five to six years old and have a gestation period of eight months. Baby hippos are born underwater and must swim to the surface to take their first breath. Calfs rest on their mother’s back when in deep water and swim underwater to suckle.


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