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San Diego Zoo: Watch mama hippopotamus bond with her new baby

Hippopotamus calf is the star of this San Diego Zoo video. The baby and mom are on display too.

Get ready for a cuteness fest. A hippopotamus named Funani gave birth last Monday to a calf at the San Diego Zoo -- and the two have been bonding ever since.

Zoo staff shot a video of the baby (see above), whose sex isn't yet known. (Scientists apparently haven't gotten close enough to check.) The video's underwater footage shows Funani nudging and pushing the calf, sometimes into shallower waters, in her enclosure at the zoo.

Both hippos are now on display. The baby is expected to stay close to Funani for the next several weeks, the zoo says. Hippos nurse for about eight months.

Seeing the calf may require some patience too. Visitors may have to stick around awhile to wait for the little hippo to wake up and become active.

Funani is an experienced mom. She's 30 years old and has raised four other hippos while in captivity, the zoo says.

Hippos come from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and other parts of the sub-Saharan African continent. They've been hunted in the wild for meat and for their teeth, which are used as a kind of poor man's ivory.

Info: San Diego Zoo

 

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