She tipped the scales at 76 pounds when she was born on March 23, and quickly started following in her mother’s footsteps.
The Memphis Zoo considered it one of the most significant births at the Tennessee facility.
And now, it’s looking for a name befitting the newest addition to their Nile hippopotamus family, as mother Binti and her not-so-wee-baby make their public debut on Friday morning at the zoo’s Zambezi River Hippo Camp.
“Binti is an extremely attentive mother and is very protective of her calf,” Farshid Mehrdadfar, one of the zoo’s curators, said in a statement. “The little lady follows her mom around everywhere, and you can typically find her asleep on Binti’s nose or back.”
The public can help select a name beginning at noon Thursday and votes will be tallied until April 13. The winner will be announced April 14.
This is 19-year-old Binti’s second baby, but a first for 16-year-old father, Uzazi, whose name comes from the Swahili word meaning “good parent.”
And so far, so very good.
Nile hippos are listed as “vulnerable” on the World Conservation Union’s Red List of endangered species. And
“This is a significant birth for the Memphis Zoo, and for the greater hippo population, as only about 79 hippos are currently on exhibit throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico,” the facility added.
Additional fun fact: Memphis was once called the “Hippo Capital of the World” as home to a bevy of hippos.
Photos Memphis Zoo