baby hippo2

Female hippos have a gestation period of eight months and have only one baby at a time, according to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. At birth, the calf weighs between 50 and 110 lbs. (23 to 50 kg). For its first eight months, the calf nurses while its mother is on land, or it swims underwater to suckle. When it dives, the calf closes its nose and ears to block out water. All hippos have this ability. Hippos also have membranes that cover and protect their eyes while they are underwater.

At 5 to 7 years old, the hippo calf is fully mature, according to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. The median life expectancy of a hippo is 36 years.