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Baby hippopotamus makes debut in Pairi Daiza

19:08 27/03/2020

A baby hippopotamus has been born in animal park Pairi Daiza. The baby was born in the award-winning park in Hainut province last month, but staff only made the announcement today as he ventured out of doors for the first time.

And what a day the little guy had. He trotted around in the sun with mum before dipping into the pool for his very first swim.

“The Hippopotamus is a threatened species,” said the park in a statement, “so the birth of a healthy hippopotamus baby is very important in maintaining the genetic diversity of the species.”

Hippos are native to Africa, and there are only about 123,000 left in the wild. About half of the 29 countries in which they are found current report a decline in the population.

Like all other animal parks in Belgium, Pairi Daiza is closed due to measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus. “It was a fantastic moment for all our teams to him come outside with his mother for the first time, to see him swim and to see him drink while under the water,” said Pairi Daiza’s chief veterinarian Tim Bouts. “I only hope that we can welcome our visitors back soon so they can see these endearing scenes with their own eyes.”

Hippopotamus

Photos courtesy Pairi Daiza/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw