Hippo gives birth in Thiruvananthapuram zoo

This is the second hippo calf to be born at the zoo. On April 7, Bindu, another hippopotamus, had given birth to the calf, Babli.
Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus with its calf at Thiruvananthapuram zoo.(Photo | Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Lakshmi, the 15-year-old hippopotamus at Thiruvananthapuram zoo, has given birth to a calf. The sex of the little one is yet to identified.

This is the second hippo calf to be born at the zoo. On April 7, Bindu, another hippopotamus, had given birth to the calf, Babli.

Lakshmi gave birth to the newborn on Wednesday night. The father is 11-year-old Gokul. He is also the father of Babli.

Zoo veterinarian Dr Nikesh Kiran said male hippos attain fatherhood in seven to 10 years while females achieve motherhood between five and seven years.

(Photo | Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

“Usually, hippos give birth in water, and the newborns can stay under water for several minutes. The mother hippo feeds the young ones under water too. Once pregnancy nears, the mother hippo distances herself from the small herd and delivers at the shallow end of the water enclosure. After a few days, the mother and the newborn rejoin the herd,” explained Dr Nikesh.

At present, the zoo authorities have placed restrictions on public viewing of the mother and the calf. The zoo now has eight hippos: a male, five fully-grown females, and two calves.

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