Dallas Zoo mourns the loss of hippo calf

Adhama and Boipelo in their Simmons Hippo Outpost habitat.

We are heartbroken to share the news that our female hippo Boipelo gave birth behind the scenes to a hippo calf early Saturday morning; unfortunately, the calf did not survive. Because this was Boipelo’s first pregnancy and we could not predict how she would react to the birth and baby, we had been cautious and had not shared the news of the impending birth with all of you. But just as we like to share our good news, we wanted you to have a chance to grieve with us, as well.

“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, our Vice President of Animal Operations and Welfare. “The calf arrived just after 6:30 a.m., and while Boipelo did assist the calf to the surface of the pool, it was not soon enough. In reviewing the situation, we know for certain there was no safe way for the staff to intervene to help the calf.”

Our keepers had been monitoring closed circuit cameras 24/7 over the last few months while on birth watch, and we were even able to capture several sonogram images recently, making us one of the only zoos in the country to have done this successfully. We had been anticipating the baby hippo’s arrival and were looking forward to announcing and having the new family debut when we reopen our Simmons Hippo Outpost in a few weeks.

Our hippo team is understandably upset but are focusing on Boipelo to help her through this difficult time. She is healthy following the birth, and our keepers and veterinary team will keep an eye on her to make sure she’s recovering well.

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

Categories: Africa, Hippo, Simmons Hippo Outpost | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Dallas Zoo mourns the loss of hippo calf

  1. I’m SO SORRY to hear that Boipelo lost a calf.

  2. Judy Lewber

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of the zoo’s baby hippo. All the zoo staff, keepers and parents Boipelo and Adhama are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Betty Crow

    I am so saddened to hear about Boipelo’s loss. My condolences to each of you at the Dallas Zoo. Heartbreaking for all!

  4. Sabrina Benkendorfer

    I am so very sorry to hear about this loss for the staff of the Dallas Zoo and especially for Boipelo. We’ve not had the privilege to visit your zoo, as of yet, but plan to real soon. May thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

  5. Terresa

    I am so sad to hear this. The hippo exhibit is my favorite place to see.
    I will mourn this loss, and pray Mommy does well. Do hippos grieve like every other animal?
    God Bless You, Dallas Zoo!

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