Colorado zoo welcomes baby hippo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado zoo is celebrating the first hippopotamus born in the facility’s 32-year history.

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Zambezi, a 28-year-old Nile hippopotamus, gave birth at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon, KCNC reported.

“With a final push, a little splash and some adorable baby hippo ear wiggles, 28-year-old Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Nile hippopotamus, Zambezi, welcomed her first calf on Tuesday, July 20, at 1:57 p.m.,” zoo officials said in a statement. “The baby hippo popped up from underwater, bobbed up and down, and swam right over to meet its mom.”

Zambezi and her calf are doing well, Philip Waugh, the lead keeper at the Water’s Edge: Africa habitat, told KKTV.

“It was an incredible moment to see this beautiful baby join our family,” Waugh told the television station. “Zambezi’s a first-time mom, but she knew just what to do. As soon as she delivered the calf, she turned around to greet it and started helping it to shallow water. I’m so proud of her.”

The newborn is the fourth member of the hippo herd at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, according to KUSA. Newborn hippos can weigh between 40 and 80 pounds, the television station reported.

Zoo staff members will continue monitoring the two hippos and will not separate them unless they believe it is medically necessary, KCNC reported.

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