ABQ BioPark Zoo welcomes baby hippo, cares for mom

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque BioPark Zoo has welcomed a baby hippo – and intends to keep things quiet for the time being.

Karen the hippo surprised the zoo with her pregnancy.

"Yeah sounds like it went really, really well, we started getting phone calls in the morning saying ‘hey, she’s displaying these kinds of behaviors, she left some food, she went out to the pool where we thought she was going to have the baby, she was spinning circles and looking a little uncomfortable’ we said ‘yeah I think it’s coming,’" said Bricker Thietten, senior mammal keeper at the zoo.

The mom and baby are doing well, but to help her recover, the public won’t be able to see the hippos for now.

"Last time, Karen kept her baby on the hog side of the pool, kept it quiet, they napped a lot. This one wants to be all around, so I think Karen is slightly stressed, a little tired, and we wanted to keep things as quiet as possible, hopefully let them nap," Thietten said.

The zoo doesn’t know if the baby hippo is a boy or a girl yet – they won’t know until the baby comes out of the water fully. Zookeepers said that could be up to a week from now.

“Extremely happy, extremely excited to say how healthy it is, that’s all you want, right?" Thietten said. "You know it’s coming, and you’re waiting and then everything happens, and it turns out just right."