Hippo born at Bannerghatta park

Hippo born at Bannerghatta park

With the arrival of the animal, the total count of hippopotamuses at the Park has gone up to eight.

The new born is a result of inbreeding as the parents of the animal happen to be siblings.
Way back in 1997, two hippos -- Karthik and Sita -- were brought from Mysore Zoo to BBP. All the existing hippos in the Park belong to the same family.

BBP executive director R Raju says that the Park does not have space to accommodate any more hippos as the existing enclosure already houses more than its capacity. "I want to handle the hippopotamus population in a more scientific method either chemically, by deferring pregnancy or biologically by animal exchange programme to maintain the gene pool," he said. Raju said, unlike the big cats, which can be observed from their enclosures, keeping an eye on the hippopotamuses are very difficult as they are more ferocious than tigers or lions,” he added.

Worrisome

With the recent births of tigers after inbreeding, BBP is worried about the inbred population at the Park and is looking for alternative methods to maintain the pedigree in the animals.

Raju said that animal exchange programme is a good option and will also give an opportunity to bring in a new animal.

Hippopotamuses are semi-aquatic mammals which can remain under water for more than five minutes.

The life span of a hippo is around 49 years. The female hippo attains puberty at the age of four or five years.

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