Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Premature Baby Hippo in the Cincinnati Zoo is Well on Her Way to Standing Up by Herself
This past January, a baby Nile hippo was born 6 weeks early in the Cincinnati Zoo. She receives around-the-clock care to ensure that she stays healthy and can learn how to stand by herself. The zoo staff milk the baby’s mother, named Bibi, to feed her newborn hippo. The staff are also feeding the premature hippo with a formula supplement until she can nurse on her own. The baby has gained about 4 pounds since birth, but she is still below the normal birth weight of a Nile hippo. A normal birth weight is 55 to 120 pounds but the premature hippo weighs about 20 pounds under the minimum.
Fortunately, the Cincinnati Zoo staff are committed to feeding her, providing vet checks, preparing strengthening activities, and keeping her moist and warm. In the video you see the premature hippo experiencing her first soak in the pool. The staff continually exposes her to water to help strengthen her muscles and maintain her optimal body temperature of 96-98 degrees Fahrenheit. The staff proves the best care possible to help the newborn hippo support her own weight and hopefully start walking. To stay up to date on the baby hippo’s progress, be sure to follow the Cincinnati Zoo’s blog.
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