The hippopotamus family at the Memphis zoo just got a little bit larger — in every sense of the word — with the birth of a 76-pound female calf to "Binti", one of the zoo's female Nile hippos.
The calf, who has yet to be named, will make her debut at the zoo on Friday, April 7, at 8:00 a.m. in the $22.4 million exhibit, Zambezi River Hippo Camp.
Both mother and daughter are said to be bright and alert and in excellent health.
A curator with the zoo, Farshid Mehrdadfar, said that Binti is extremely protective of the newborn calf, and in turn, the newborn calf tends to stay as close to her mother as possible.
"The little lady follows her around everywhere," said Mehrdadfar, who added that the newborn is often found asleep on Binti's nose or back.
The day before the calf is expected to debut, the zoo will kick off a naming contest and is encouraging members of the public to cast their votes for one of five names nominated names entered for consideration by the zoo staff.
The winning name will be announced on Friday, April 14, via the zoo's social media page. For those interested in voting, the ballot can be found here.
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