The Cincinnati Zoo said that Bibi the hippo has had a baby boy, with the birth previously being announced last week. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Zoo
Aug. 8 (BP) — The Cincinnati Zoo on Monday revealed the gender of its new baby hippo, with the zoo welcoming a male calf to its ranks.
Zoo officials made the announcement live on the TODAY Show.
“We have a bouncing baby boy,” Cincinnati Zoo marketing manager Amy Labarbara said on the show, adding that it took a few days to confirm the sex of the baby because “they really wanted to let [mother and calf] bond, so they didn’t really want to get their hands on the baby right away.”
While the boy has not yet been named, the zoo is currently taking suggestions on its website, with the public allowed to weigh in.
The TODAY Show also played an exclusive new video of the baby boy, alongside his mother in their enclosure.
“He’s amazing,” Labarbara said of the baby. “He’s doing so well, he’s so strong, he’s just staying right with his mom and doing everything we want a baby hippo to do. He’s swimming, and just doing great.”
The baby boy was born last Wednesday evening to mother Bibi, at which time the zoo said that the pair would remain isolated for approximately two weeks to be able to bond with each other.
The boy is the latest in the Ohio-based zoo’s group of hippos, alongside the zoo’s most famous resident, his sister Fiona.
Fiona became the first hippo to be born at the zoo in 75 years when she arrived in 2017, and has since become one of the most famous zoo animals in the country.
She continues to make waves on social media, producing viral moments throughout her life and even predicting various Super Bowl winners.
One thing Fiona has not yet done, though — meet her new brother.
“He has not met [Fiona] yet,” Labarbara said. “He’s seen her from a distance, so, it’s kind of a slow process.”
The new boy will likely join his sister in helping to promote hippo conservation, with the species seeing dwindling numbers in recent years.
While the population has somewhat stabilized, the World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are only 115,000 to 130,000 hippos left in the wild.
Hunting, poaching and climate issues continue to cause problems for hippos, with some even calling for the animal to be named as an officially endangered species.