A baby hippo was born last Wednesday in the Dvur Kralove zoo, the first one born in the zoo since 1989. Another one is expected in the coming weeks, said zoo spokeswoman Andrea Jirousova on Tuesday.
The mother hippo is a seven-year-old Hula who came to the zoo in spring 2016 from Belgium together with another female hippo Mona. After their arrival, the zoo resumes hippo breeding after 14 years.
The father hippo is Mike who came to the Dvur Kralove zoo in autumn 2017 from the Stuttgart zoo. Mike replaced two-year-old Karl Wilhelm, who also came from Germany and died in the zoo in August 2017.
Zoo director Premysl Rabas said the birth of the baby hippo after almost 30 years is one of the most beautiful gifts the Dvur Kralove safari park has received for the Christmas this year. The baby hippo weights between 25 and 30 kilograms, its gender is not yet known.
According to zoologist Jiri Hruby, hippos are usually born in the water where they also spend most of their time. However, the delivery in the Dvur Kralove zoo was carried out on dry land and at night when females tend to be out of water anyway, said Hruby. He said the zoo believes that another birth of baby hippo can be expected in the coming weeks as the other female Mona’s behaviour and weight gain suggest a late stage of pregnancy.
The Dvur Kralove zoo is very successful in breeding rhinos and giraffes. It raised eight young hippos, six female and two male. The newborn is the ninth.