COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) -- The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby hippopotamus! It's the first hippo born at the zoo in Colorado Springs in 32 years -- and officials say mom and baby appear to be healthy and bonding well.
"With a final push, a little splash and some adorable baby hippo ear wiggles, 28-year-old Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Nile hippopotamus, Zambezi, welcomed her first calf," zoo officials wrote on Facebook.
The calf was born at 1:57 p.m. on Tuesday.
Zoo officials say the baby hippo popped up from underwater, bobbed up and down, and swam right over to meet its mom.
"It was an incredible moment to see this beautiful baby join our family," said Philip Waugh, lead keeper at Water's Edge: Africa.
"Zambezi's a first-time mom, but she knew just what to do. As soon as she delivered the calf, she turned around to greet it and started helping it to shallow water," Waugh stated. "I'm so proud of her."
Staff will continue monitoring the two hippos regularly and won't separate mom and baby for an exam unless they think it's medically necessary.
As long as things continue to go well for Zambezi and her baby, the hippo building will be open and guests can visit them in Water's Edge: Africa right away. If Zambezi or the baby show signs they need more quiet time, the Zoo will close the area temporarily.
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