NOTE: This article has been updated with information that came in since it was initially posted, including the gender of the baby hippo.
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — The Cincinnati Zoo has posted a new video of a hippopotamus calf born Wednesday to Bibi, mother of famed hippo Fiona.
The clip, uploaded to Twitter and captioned, “Looks like Fiona’s world-famous ear wiggles run in the family,” shows the newborn shaking water out of its ears next to Bibi in the pool.
In another video tweet, the zoo confirmed that both mother and baby are doing well.
“The newborn hippo has spent most of the day in the indoor pools with Bibi, exploring, resting and nursing, which is exactly what the hippo care team was hoping for,” the tweet read. “Hippos spend most of their life in water and hippo calves even nurse underwater.”
The birth is making headlines, including a segment Thursday morning on NBC’s TODAY show, which featured behind-the-scenes details with senior keeper Jenna Wingate.
Wingate said she witnessed the birth with her “ears,” in an attempt to give Bibi her privacy while watching “via camera.” Wingate added when she heard a “plop” she surmised the baby was born.
A key detail about the pregnancy made the show’s hosts giggle.
NBC’s Craig Melvin asked if it was true Bibi was on birth control when she conceived. Wingate confirmed that it was true and added that Tucker, the calf’s father, had actually “gotten two females pregnant while they were on birth control” and that scientists would be “looking into” why it happened.
Wingate also said the zoo is currently taking suggestions for the calf’s name on its website.
CINCINNATI, OH (August 8, 2022) — Big news from Hippo Cove! Keepers were able to get a good look at the baby hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on August 3 this morning and determined that Fiona’s sibling is a boy!!
“We’re just happy that the calf is healthy. The sex didn’t matter much to the hippo team, but it will be interesting to observe and compare the behavioral differences between a hand-raised girl and a mom-raised boy,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care, Christina Gorsuch. “Will this calf be as comfortable with humans as Fiona is? Will he be less independent? Will he love cameras?”
The team has not yet chosen a name for the calf and is looking for suggestions. If you have one, you can submit it here. They will review submissions and announce the name later this week.
“Bibi and the baby are doing great together. They are inseparable, which is why it took almost five days to be sure about the sex,” said Gorsuch. “They will continue to bond inside for another week or two. Fiona and Tucker are outside, so visitors will still be able to see hippos when they come to the Zoo.”
Zoo members have access to live cams in the outdoor habitat and can watch the action in Hippo Cove from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily. Access to the live hippo cams is also available to Virtual Members. NOTE: Cameras may not be on during introductions or when the animal team needs private access.