DALLAS — The Dallas Zoo welcomed a hippo calf born Tuesday.
The Nile hippopotamus calf was born around 6:30 p.m. to 12-year-old Boipelo.
Boipelo previously lost her first calf in February 2018. The calf never took its first breath.
Zoo officials said Boipelo and her new calf are doing well. The calf started nursing about two hours after its birth.
The baby hippo's name and gender have not been announced. Mom and baby are not currently on public display.
Boipelo was in labor for seven hours.
“We timed Boipelo’s contractions every moment she barrel rolled in the water, and after about 100 rolls, we saw a baby emerge,” said Matt James in a written statement. James is the Dallas Zoo's senior director of animal care.
The zoo’s veterinary and animal care staff helped prepare for the calf’s arrival since January and performed a successful ultrasound on 2,420-pound Boipelo.
After the birth, the baby was already moving and kicking, James said in the zoo's statement.
“Boipelo has been very attentive, gently nudging the calf to the surface for air after each nursing session," James said. "Hippo calves need to come up every 30 seconds to breathe, and she’s doing a great job ensuring the baby is getting everything it needs.”
Native to sub-Saharan Africa, hippos are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation and Nature due to habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory-canine teeth.
Boipelo and her calf remain behind the scenes where they are bonding.