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'Our Hearts Are Heavy': Hippo Calf Born At Dallas Zoo Dies

Dallas Zoo
Adhama and Boipelo in their Simmons Hippo Outpost habitat.

A female hippo at the Dallas Zoo gave birth to her first calf Saturday morning, but the baby did not survive, the zoo announced.

Since this was hippo Boipelo’s first pregnancy, the zoo had kept the news of the impending birth quiet and focused on closely monitoring the soon-to-be mother for several months. The team wasn’t sure how she would react to the birth and the baby.

“We always put an emphasis on allowing animals to express natural behaviors, so we gave Boipelo space to interact with the baby immediately after the birth,” said Harrison Edell, vice president of animal operations and welfare, in a statement on the zoo’s blog. 

The calf was born just after 6:30 a.m. Saturday, and “while Boipelo did assist the calf to the surface of the pool, it was not soon enough,” Edell continued. “In reviewing the situation, we know for certain there was no safe way for the staff to intervene to help the calf.”

The zoo didn't offer any more details on the baby's death.

Boipelo and her mate Adhama arrived last March to much excitement to live and eventually breed in the zoo’s new $14 million Simmons Hippo Outpost. The zoo hadn’t had hippos since 2001. 

The zoo says it had been looking forward to introducing the family when the outpost reopens in a few weeks.

While the team is upset, it will focus on Boipelo’s recovery.

“It’s a tough day for our entire Zoo family. Our hearts are heavy, but we so appreciate your support and well-wishes.”