Hippo calf born at Trivandrum Zoo brings cheer to visitors

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Trivandrum (Kerala), June 27 : A Hippo calf born at Trivandrum Zoo in Thiruvananthapuram is a major draw among visitors.

This was the sixth delivery of the thirteen-year-old Rugmini. Both the mother and the child are healthy.

The keeper Chandran who was looking after Rugmini said that he expected the delivery a day before as he was watching the hippo throughout the month.

"I suspected that it was pregnant, so I reported to the superintendent and the director. They examined and confirmed pregnancy. We took special care for her," said Chandran.

The calf is currently spending all its time in the small pool adjoining its mother's cage and appears to be doing rather well.

Officials also hope that the news will bring many visitors to the zoo, despite the city's soaring temperatures.

"We are giving special care to the mother and the child. The male partner was brought here in 1968. She delivered in 2005, 2007 and 2008, " said Elcy George, Director, Trivandrum zoo.

The baby is enjoying fruits and green vegetables besides its mother's milk.

Hippo babies are generally born underwater, averaging a weight of around 80 pounds. They have to come to the surface for breathing and swim underwater to suckle.

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