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.
The original article can be found on: https://baijiahao.baidu.com/
Translated by Zichen He
Edited by Andrea Jia @ Animal Dialogue