Albuquerque Zoo is making ready to welcome child hippos

“So a bit of a surprise that she was on birth control,” said Bricker Thietten, senior mammal carer at the zoo. “This wasn’t one of our recommended breeds so it was kind of an oops, we’ve been suspicious since December. We saw behavior that made us think she might be pregnant.”

Bricker says captive breeding is usually carefully planned.

“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums will say, ‘Hey you guys have a great couple, can you try breeding?’ and that can be based on their genetics, whether they’re a really good pair genetically or just the number of animals, “Bricker said.

Bricker said having different genes is extremely important when breeding in captivity as there are fewer animals than there are in the wild.

Fortunately for Karen and Moe, the hippos, they are seasoned parents

“When we had our last {hippo} baby six years ago this was recommended to us, you know, Moe our male was quite old at the time and Karen had been on birth control for years and we said we were going to give it a try Get it out, we don’t know what’s going to happen and within a couple of weeks – pregnant, “said Bricker.

Bricker believes Karen could be born on July 20th.

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