Zoo of Northwest Florida Welcomes New Baby Hippo

A 65-pound bundle of hippo joy has been delivered to the Zoo of Northwest Florida. Named Kayin, which is Swahili for ‘long-awaited child,’ the calf was born at the zoo on October 3rd. The baby is healthy but has not yet been identified as a girl or a boy as zookeepers have been unable to approach him with his protective mother hovering nearby.

“He’s just a cute little butterball,” said Danyelle Lantz, executive director of The Zoo. She went on to report that both mom and baby are doing well. “They’re all happy and the baby has been out of the water and he’s nursing well.”

Kayin’s parents, mom Cleo and dad Kiboko, have had a calf before. Their previous baby, Niles, was born on Christmas Day 2005, but it was killed by its father last summer. The Zoo plans to take measures to protect Kayin as he or she ages by adding a third sleeping area and dividing the water area to separate the mother and calf from the father.

Lantz said plans to renovate the hippo exhibit are in the fundraising stage and the zoo is searching for corporate sponsorship as well as individual donations to reach their $10,000 goal.

Visitor can come see the new baby and his parents on the zoo’s train ride and will be able to see him grow up. The 65-pound calf could eventually grow as heavy as 4,000 pounds.

See the zoo website at http://www.thezoonorthwestflorida.org/.