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Baby Hippo is the Star Attraction at the Guadalajara Zoo

July 12, 2018

Though 'Beto' - as the calf was provisionally named - was born on May 28, the 56-kilo (123-pound) baby hippo has remained under his mother's close care, zoo communications director Danae Vazquez told EFE.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico - Housing over 2,000 animals, the Guadalajara Zoo is widely considered the most important zoological park in Latin America with respect to species population. And now, a hippopotamus calf has become its star attraction.

Though "Beto" - as the calf was provisionally named - was born on May 28, 2018, the 56-kilo (123-pound) baby hippo has remained under his mother's close care, according to zoo communications director Danae Vazquez.

At only six weeks of age, the little hippo is happy and brave, already venturing into the water on his own under his mother's watchful eye.


"Gina is an excellent mom," Vazquez said. "She is careful, loving and, when she has to impose limits, she does. She won't let him go to the deeper parts yet, so they hang out in the shallow end where the baby can swim and be in the water."

The baby's habitat, known as "Kiboko Bwawa," includes an underwater viewing area, where visitors can watch Beto and Gina frolicking about, as hippos can remain under water for as long as 20 minutes without coming up for air.

Since hippos are the third heaviest land animals on the planet - behind elephants and rhinos - zookeepers decided it would be in the mother's and calf's best interest to have the habitat all to themselves so, for now, the calf's father, "Tartufo," is being kept in a separate pen.

Zoológico Guadalajara started operating in 1988 as a project to promote conservation and research. As the first true zoo of the city, and the largest in the state of Jalisco, the zoological park has been enormously successful and is one of Guadalajara's most popular tourist attractions.

Source: EFE