Mérida, Yucatán (April 13, 2020).- Near the 10th anniversary of Animaya, the zoo was happy to receive the first child of the hippo couple Hipoberto and CaliZoo, the first offspring of this species that is born in this Mérida Zoo and recreational center.
The small hippopotamus was born on Saturday, April 4, weighs approximately 15 kilos and due to the behavior of the species, Hipoberto was separated in one of the two ponds to avoid possible attacks or injuries on the young.
Merida zoos remain closed, until further notice, due to the coronavirus contingency, but the attention and care of animals does not stop. Zoo personnel work in small groups and at different times to feed the animals, and provide any preventive or medical care they require.
In addition, disinfection and sanitization actions are carried out frequently to care for the personnel who work there, who also makes constant use of mouth masks, gloves, hand washing and antibacterial gel, at all times.
As for the new tenant, the mother is caring for the little one who remains submerged in the water and only for a few moments, takes his nose out to breathe, so the sex of the newborn is still unknown. For the next 10 or 11 months, she will depend entirely on her mother for food.
The delivery went smoothly and CaliZoo from the first moment has behaved like an excellent first-time mother, watching over her calf at all times. The baby Nile Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) looks strong and is apparently in good health.
Animaya technical personnel remain monitoring remotely so as not to stress the mother or the newborn.
The small hippopotamus is the first offspring for both specimens. The gestation of this species lasts approximately 8 months.
The father, named Hipoberto, had to wait about 4 years for CaliZoo to reach sexual maturity, for mating purposes.
Hipoberto arrived at Animaya on April 18, 2015, being a young specimen of approximately 5 years of age and CaliZoo arrived on October 30 of the same year, from the Zacango Ecological Park, located near Toluca, Esstado de México, when he was approximately one year old.
The Nile hippopotamus is a mega herbivore that mainly inhabits sub-Saharan Africa. It is a relative of the pygmy hippopotamus and both are the only existing specimens of the Hippopotamidae family. With semi-aquatic habits, this species lives in rivers and lakes, where they stay most of their lives and carry out most of their activities. They weigh between 1,500 and 3,000 kilos, the females remain fertile all their life. They are long-lived animals.
The Nile Hippopotamus is considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species in a vulnerable state of extinction worldwide, due to the loss of its habitat and the indiscriminate illegal hunting and of these animals, to get their meat and the ivory from their teeth.
When this is all over, and Animaya reopens its doors to the public, everyone will be invited to meet the new member of the hippo family.The Yucatan Times