Premature Baby Hippo Is Smallest Calf Ever Born: ZooBorns

COMM: There has been an adorable new arrival at Cincinnati Zoo. For the first time in 75
years a new hippo calf has been born. This baby Nile hippo arrived 6 weeks ahead of schedule
from 17-year-old mother Bibi. She weighed just 29lbs which is 25lbs less than the lowest
recorded birth weight for the species. Because of this, the baby was moved to the zoo’s
nursery where she is receiving round-the-clock care from the zoo’s staff to help her grow
to a healthy weight. WOMAN: She is able to hold her head up and she is starting to learn how to breathe with
the water. She is starting to be able to support her weight on her legs, only maybe brief
periods, maybe 10 seconds tops but that’s a start. COMM: Most hippos are born in the water, but they can’t actually swim straight away.
So, the team have been giving her regular baths. They are hoping that time in the water
will help her build her muscles and balance. COMM: So far, she has already taken her first steps. Zoo have named her Fiona and although
she’s still got a way to go before she has reached a safe size, strength and weight,
the zoo are hopeful she will be able to rejoin her mother shortly.

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