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21 November 2013

Werribee Open Range Zoo has welcomed a new baby hippo.

The calf was born in the early hours of Monday morning to proud mum Brindabella and is showing all the signs of being a healthy baby hippo.

Hippos are very protective of their young, so we have yet to weigh the calf or determine its sex, but we are very pleased to see that the calf appears to be feeding well.

While we are cautiously optimistic, the first few weeks are a critical time for both mother and baby and keepers and veterinary staff are continuing to monitor them very closely.

In the wild, expectant mothers isolate themselves from the other hippos and seek privacy to bond with their young.

This is why Brindabella was moved to a protected, off-display birthing suite prior to the birth and she will remain off public display for several weeks as the calf gets bigger and stronger.

The new calf is likely to weigh between 20 to 40 kilograms, but when fully grown could weigh as much as two tonnes.