Long wait to see Baby hippo at San Diego Zoo - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Long wait to see Baby hippo at San Diego Zoo

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A river hippopotamus born at the San Diego Zoo Monday is still doing well, but its sex hasn't been determined, animal keepers said.

The calf and mother, Funani, have their exhibit to themselves after the father was moved to another tank a couple of weeks ago. The youngster will nurse for about eight months and is likely to remain close to Funani during that time.

Keepers and veterinarians have not been able to get close enough to determine if the calf is male or female.

"If people come out to view the baby, patience will be rewarded," said John Michel, senior animal keeper at the zoo. "Guests may have to wait sometimes as long as half an hour, but the calf will wake up and start moving to deeper water, and mom will start to push it back up to shallow water."

Funani, 30, has raised four other calves at the zoo. However, a calf born last year died after a few days.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists hippos as vulnerable because of illegal and unregulated hunting, for meat and the ivory found in the canine teeth, and habitat loss. Hippos can still be found in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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