Bibi, mother of Fiona the hippopotamus, could give birth to a new calf at any time | Cincinnati News | Cincinnati
Cincinnati Zoo hippo Bibi, mother of famed hippo Fiona, is expected to give birth to another calf shortly.
The healers went on a Facebook live to answer a few questions about Bibi and the calf.
Bibi, who gave birth to Fiona prematurely in 2017, became pregnant, earlier than zoo officials expected, after male hippo Tucker was introduced to her habitat last year.
It was announced that Bibi was pregnant in April this year. According to hippo keepers, gestation for hippos tends to be around 8 months. Although Bibi’s due date isn’t until August 15, hippos have a 30-day window in which they can give birth, and Bibi is solidly in this window.
Bibi showed signs of labor, including erratic eating habits and holding her tail to the side. But the biggest indication from the Guardian that the baby is coming soon is that Bibi opted out of joining Fiona and Tucker in the outdoor pool today.
According to keepers, hippos in the wild will isolate themselves from others until their babies are born. Once the calf is born, Bibi will be separated from the others for at least two weeks and up to a few months. Guardians say they will follow his lead on reintroduction; signs that she’s ready will include sleeping near Fiona and Tucker in her separate pin area.
For now, people are monitoring Bibi around the clock in case she starts going into active labor. Birth should usually be 12 hours after signs of contractions, but can be as short as 6 hours.
This calf will be an adult, unlike Fiona who was born at 29 pounds (25 pounds less than the lowest recorded hippo birth weight) and could weigh up to 100 pounds. Bibi gained 200 pounds during her pregnancy, but her caretakers say it’s mostly water and fluids.
Keepers say they don’t know if the calf is male or female because they missed the window where they could tell because the calf got too big for the ultrasound machine to see.
There was no name chosen for this new zoo baby; keepers say they are only focused on getting a healthy calf.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is located at 3400 Vine St., Avondale. Tickets and more info: cincinnatizoo.org.
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