This hippo family has a new member.
There's a new celebrity in Dallas — a baby hippopotamus.
The Dallas Zoo welcomed an adorable Nile Hippopotamus calf in October, the zoo shared in a Facebook post, adding that that both mom, Boipelo, and the young calf are doing well, and bonding behind the scenes.
"The animal team had been closely monitoring Boipelo for several weeks as her birth window neared," the zoo wrote on Facebook. "Signs of labor started mid-afternoon that Sunday and the team used cameras in the barn to keep tabs on Boipelo’s progress while allowing her to deliver the calf privately."
Boipelo was in labor for about two and a half hours, which the zoo noted is typical for hippos. In preparation for the birth, the zoo was ready with cameras in the enclosure to allow for a safe and private delivery.
While the baby calf and the mother bond the zoo will keep them away from visitors, in a private part of the enclosure. Zookeepers and vets have not yet been able to get close enough to confirm the gender of the baby as they are letting mother and child spend critical time together, Kari Streiber vice president of marketing and communications for the zoo told Travel + Leisure.
"We're continuing to let mom and baby bond behind the scenes, so we don't have a timetable yet for confirming gender and announcing a name. In the meantime, we're thrilled to have a healthy hippo baby and that mom Boipelo is doing everything she is supposed to as a mom," Streiber said. "We're getting as many photos and videos as we can without disturbing the duo, and we look forward to sharing all the updates!"
While mom and baby are off limits for visitors for the next few weeks, hippo enthusiasts can meet father Gus, and half-sister Adanna. The zoo also promises to post more photos and videos of the adorable calf before it is formally introduced to the public.
The Dallas Zoo is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the fall and winter. Tickets range from $14-$17, children under 2 are free.
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