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Zoo News

Zoo News

Dallas Zoo’s baby hippo to make its public debut Saturday June 1
May 31, 2019

DALLAS (May 31, 2019) – Mom Boipelo and her calf explored the Simmons Hippo Outpost on Friday morning for the first time since the baby’s birth and quickly made themselves at home. Boipelo led the baby from behind the scenes, out onto the sand in the habitat, and right into the pool, where they remained for most of the morning.

Mom started the morning by propelling herself through the water, making laps in the 120,000-gallon pool, with the baby following right behind. The calf often climbed onto Boipelo’s back to hoist itself to the surface of the water for a quick breath, but was also seen venturing away from mom, walking on and pushing off the large rocks in the pool. Mom and baby both seemed comfortable during their first nursing session while in the new habitat, as well.

The Zoo will keep the Simmons Hippo Outpost closed to the public for the remainder of the day on Friday to give mom and baby time to acclimate to their surroundings. Beginning tomorrow, June 1, the pair will begin spending time in the habitat regularly, as weather and mom’s comfort level allow. Dallas Zoo members are invited to get a sneak peek of the duo starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, one hour before the Zoo welcomes the general public at its regular 9 a.m. opening time.

“This calf has captured our hearts, and we’re thrilled to now be able to give the public a chance to watch this baby grow, explore, and continue to bond with mom. Boipelo’s mothering instincts remain spot-on, and the baby is clearly ready to meet its adoring fans,” said Harrison Edell, Dallas Zoo’s Executive Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation. “This debut in the habitat is the culmination of weeks-worth of planning and constant evaluation by the hippo team. But it’s also the first of many milestones we’re looking forward to with baby and mom.”

Since its birth on May 14, the baby has remained close by mom’s side, so the Zoo’s staff has not yet been able to definitively determine the hippo calf’s gender.

The zoo confirmed Boipelo’s pregnancy earlier this year through a voluntary ultrasound session. The Dallas Zoo is the first U.S. zoo to capture serial fetal growth images on a pregnant hippo through ultrasound. Boipelo was paired with male Adhama on a Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendation shortly before he passed away last October. The zoo aims to bring in another male hippo later this year from an AZA-accredited institution.

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About the Dallas Zoo: The Dallas Zoo is dedicated to creating a better world for animals. Named one of the nation’s Top 10 Zoos by USA Today, it is the largest zoological experience in Texas. The zoo has been accredited continuously by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums since 1985, and features a 106-acre park, thousands of animals, and an education department that offers programs for all ages. The zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis) and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 469.554.7500.

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