Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s two-day-old baby hippo, born six weeks early, is hanging in there. Her care team continues to give her 24-hour attention, which includes tube feedings, vet checks and keeping her warm and moist. She is gaining some strength. This morning she got her first pool experience. Most hippos are born in the water, but they can’t actually swim. Pool time will help her build muscles and balance and maintain an optimal body temperature of 96-98 degrees.
Her mom, Bibi, is doing fine and, because of her experience standing still for ultrasounds, is allowing milk to be collected. Vets are adding mom’s milk to a fluid mixture that is being tube-fed to the baby. She is still too weak to stand but the nutrients she’s receiving should help her gain strength.