A river hippopotamus born at the San Diego Zoo four days ago spent time with its mother Wednesday lounging in their 150,000-gallon pool.
The mother, Funani, has kept the calf so close that animal keepers have not been able to determine if the baby is male or female.
“Funani knows the drill by now, since this is her fifth calf,” said Jennifer Chapman, senior keeper at the zoo. “She is a great mother and has been keeping a very close eye on the little one.”
Funani last gave birth in 2011. The father is named Otis.
According to the zoo, the river hippopotamus is a threatened species, facing both natural predators and man-made dangers such as poaching.
With so many obstacles in the wild, mother hippos are known to be very protective of their newborns. Hippo calves typically nurse for about eight months, so the mother and calf will remain close together for the next few months.
–City News Service