Baby Hippo Born at San Diego Zoo

Hippos may be endangered in the wild but the ones in zoos seem to be healthy and hale and reproducing like crazy. Like the one born yesterday at the San Diego Zoo to parents Funani and Otis in full view of 100 visitors who shouted encouragement from the sidelines.

Here is the full report from, along with a video of the new baby.

SAN DIEGO – They’re handing out cigars at the San Diego Zoo.

A hippopotamus calf was born in the water around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, following two hours of labor for the mother.

A crowd of about 100 visitors, who gave shouts of “push” as encouragement to 26-year-old Funani, witnessed the birth.

Keith Grupe, from Wisconsin, said he waited with his wife and three children for about an hour to see the birth.

“You saw (Funani) fidgeting and fidgeting and all the sudden there was a baby in the water with her,” he said. “It’s the coolest thing you could ever see.”

The calf’s father, Otis, 36, was brought to the zoo from Los Angeles two years ago.

Otis and Funani didn’t get along at first, but became friendly after a cooling-off period, and zoo officials said mating activity was observed last April.

The typical gestation period for hippos is eight months.

Otis was taken off exhibit recently because the hippo born today was his first child, and it was unknown how he would react. The baby — the sex is not yet known — is Funani’s third.