A new member joins the hippo family of a zoo in Jinan, China.
On July the 7th, the Wild World Jinan joyfully announced that the hippo mother has successfully delivered a baby hippo at 5 am. From then on, the star couple of the animal world, hippos “Nan Nan” and “Fei Fei” has officially become a family of three.
The happy couple traveled across the ocean from South Africa to their current home, Wild World Jinan, in 2015. The two hippos were named “Nan Nan” and “Fei Fei” because their origin, South Africa, is pronounced as “Nan Fei” in Mandarin. Now, Nan Nan and Fei Fei are both adults at five years old.
The staff in charge of hippos said that the hippo calf was born on the bank after the mother reached the full term of pregnancy. The healthy newborn then moved into the pond. Though a first-time mother, Fei Fei made it through 240 days of gestation and now maintains a strong maternal instinct. Currently, she is focusing on taking care of the baby in the delivery room prepared by the staff. She has to stay close to her offspring to keep feeding it. The baby hippo will not start to eat grass until 4-6 months, and the mother will continue breastfeeding for almost a year. Since the baby hippo cannot get on the bank, for now, it is hard to determine its gender. The baby hippo will meet with visitors in the outdoor exhibition when it can feed on grass.
The gestation of hippos usually lasts eight months, and mothers only give birth to one calf at a time. Just before the birth of the baby, the mother will leave the herd alone. The baby is usually be born under water and will spend three to four weeks with the mother before returning to the herd. While all the female hippos will help with rearing the calf, the mother hippo will still holds the significant responsibilities of raising the calf. Hippos are social animals, and all the female hippos will stick together to protect their babies from any possible danger.
On April 13th, 51 cities in China held a nationwide pet adoption event at the same time. The activity aims to promote the ideas of caring for stray animals, “adopt, don’t shop,” and responsible pet ownership. Experts commented that the increasing number of people who pay attention to animal’s welfare suggests the advancement of Chinese society.
From Harbin in the northeast to Kunming in the southwest, from Urumqi in the northwest to Xiamen in the southeast, 51 Chinese cities, with a total population of more than 400 million, held the “China Same Day Pet Adoption” activity to help rescued stray animals find new homes.
According to Yang Yang, the event initiator and the director of an adoption platform named “Beijing Pet Adoption Day”, the annual “China Same Day Pet Adoption ” event has been going on for five years in a row. When it first started in 2015, there were only 18 participating cities, but gradually more cities joined in, and the number of cities reached 51 this year.
“Considering the territory size and population density of China, some international experts think this is the largest stray animal adoption activity in the world. Therefore, we applied for the Guinness World Records,” said Yang.
In Shanghai, Sun Li, an actress and the ambassador of the “China Same Day Pet Adoption ” activity, is an enthusiast for saving stray animals and promoting responsible pet ownership. The image of Sun Li hugging a rescued animal had become the activity’s theme picture.
“I think it’s really meaningful if more people were willing to help stray animals when they saw the image of me cuddling a puppy,” said Sun Li.
“International experience indicates that promoting adoption can effectively decrease the number of stray animals and enhance the sense of responsibility of pet owners as well as the society,” said Dr. Sun Quanhui, the scientific counselor of World Animal Protection.
“In recent years, the number of stray animal adoption activities in various regions is growing, and a rising number of people gradually accepts the idea of pet adoption,” said Dr. Sun. “Taking good care of animals is a human responsibility, and it’s also an important sign of a civilized society.”
A few days ago, social organizations ACTAsia and Vets For Compassion (VFC China) celebrated for the 10th anniversary of their international veterinary training program in China. According to the founder of ACTAsia, Su Peifen, in the past ten years, Chinese society has made constant advancement in terms of animal welfare, and examples include compassion education in primary schools to animal welfare training for veterinary professionals.
To commemorate World Stray Animals Day on April 4th, the mobile online game, “Onmyoji”, introduced a new gaming system in which the players can adopt injured stray dogs and sign a “contact of guardianship”. The game company would donate a part of their profit to support stray animal rescue and management. In just about 6 hours, the system had reached its expected goal.
Besides, thanks to social media and live video platforms, more and more stray animals found lovely homes. At a Beijing volunteer-run cat shelter called “The Tenth Life”, some professional photographers are volunteering to take photos of fixed cats with a tame temperament and publish on social media. Any eligible family who wants to adopt the cats may contact the manager through social media.
Michael Hammer, the Global Development Director of World Animal Protection, commented that the booming development of social media and these fantastic, original ways of caring about animals brought out the best in each other, which was very commendable. The Chinese younger generation’s concern for animal welfare and their actions to improve the well-being of animals are worth being promoted worldwide.