The First Baby Hippo to Be Born at Disney World in 13 Years Might Just Be Cuter Than Fiona
Animal Kingdom is home to an adorable new addition.
Fiona, everyone’s favorite baby hippo, has some pretty cute competition.
Disney World’s Animal Kingdom announced the birth of a Nile hippopotamus over the weekend. The calf is the first hippo to be born at the park in 13 years.
The baby, born around 10 p.m. on January 13, is “staying close to mom Tuma,” Scott Terrell, the Director of Animal & Science Operations at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts writes in a blog post.
In an effort to give the mother and baby space to nurse and bond with one another, Disney’s animal care specialists have not yet determined the gender and weight of the baby, and may not know for some time. However, a newborn hippo usually weights between 60 and 110 pounds, with adult hippos weighing in at an average of 2,870 or 3,310 pounds for females and males respectively.
The baby’s birth is the result of a breeding between Tuma and her chosen mate Henry, who are part of the Species Survival Plan, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Because the Nile hippopotamus is considered a vulnerable species with its population declining in the wild, the birth marks an “important contribution to the worldwide conservation and understanding of these amazing creatures,” Terrell wrote.
Guests may be able to view Tuma and her new baby while onboard the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Animal Kingdom, a jungle trek that traverses areas of the African savanna to allow riders an up-close look at hippos, lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, baboons and more. The calf may also be seen during the Wild Africa Trek, a privately guided VIP experience through the Animal Kingdom park.