journalism / news

YAHOO 7: Playful new baby hippo at Vic zoo

AAP

SHANNON POWER November 22, 2013, 2:28 am

A hippo born at Melbourne's Werribee Zoo is doing well and is already putting mum through her paces. Photo: AAP

A hippo born at Melbourne’s Werribee Zoo is doing well and is already putting mum through her paces. Photo: AAP

A hippo born at Melbourne’s Werribee Zoo is doing well and is already putting mum through her paces.

There’s a new diva on the block ready to do the hippo, hippo shake.

The only issue is the little hippopotamus born on Monday at Werribee Open Range Zoo could in fact be a divo.

The calf is playful and already putting mum, Brindabella, through her paces.

“It’s very demanding, not afraid of mum at all despite her size,” says Russel Trahel, general manager of life sciences at Zoos Victoria.

“It just gives her a poke and nudge. Mum might have her hands full when she hits the terrible twos.”

Brindabella is very protective and keepers will have to wait to discover the baby’s gender, which is when they’ll be able to name it.

“Even with the keepers who have a great relationship with her, she is still grumpy at them,” says Mr Trahel.

The first weeks are critical in a hippopotamus’ life and the biggest risk to a newborn hippo comes from an unlikely source, its one-tonne mother.

“It’s common for hippos in the wild and captivity to get crushed by mum,” says Mr Trahel.

Werribee Zoo hopes to debut the calf in four weeks, but it depends on when Brindabella is ready to share her baby.

“She’s really calling the shots,” says Mr Trahel.

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