CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The newest star of the Metro Richmond Zoo is strutting her stuff, showing off thousands of years of natural instincts during her first experience swimming, just three weeks after birth.
The unnamed pygmy hippo infant was born on Dec. 6, and on Tuesday, Dec. 27, she took her first trip to the Metro Richmond Zoo’s indoor pool area with her mother, Iris, for some hippo swimming lessons.
The zoo described the baby’s first experience as “normal, but remarkable nonetheless.” The zoo said shortly after cautiously following Iris into the water, “the calf’s natural instincts kicked in and she started swimming immediately.”
As a precaution, the zoo said the water in the pool was lowered so her head stayed above the water.
Now that the calf is reportedly becoming more comfortable in the water, the zoo said it is encouraging her to swim by slowly increasing the water level in the pool each day.
If you’re wondering when you can see this little baby in action, the answer is now! The zoo said public viewing is now open, and people are able to utilize windows to the indoor pool to watch Iris and her new baby explore all of life’s experiences together.
The Metro Richmond Zoo said the two will stay in the indoor pool area until the baby is large enough to navigate the outdoor habitat.
Name suggestions for the calf are currently being accepted in the comments section of a post by the Metro Richmond Zoo on Facebook — you can cast your vote here.