All of us love to like the Zoo’s well-known residents Fiona, Bibi, and Tucker, however at present is a day to rejoice them much more! That’s proper, it’s World Hippo Day. “Hippo” is brief for hippopotamus, a phrase derived from an historic Greek phrase which means “horse of the river.” Nonetheless, as you may think, hippos are solely distantly associated to horses, with their closest residing kinfolk really being whales! These huge mammals can weigh over 9,000 lbs, however weigh between 3,000-7,000 lbs on common with males being bigger than females. The Zoo’s male, Tucker, is the biggest of the three, weighing in at about 4,200 lbs.
Right here on the Zoo, each Fiona and Bibi lately celebrated birthdays. Fiona turned 5 years previous on January twenty fourth, and Bibi celebrated her twenty third birthday on February seventh. Their good friend Tucker, who joined the bloat (the identify for a bunch of hippos) within the Fall of 2021, is eighteen years previous. In human care, hippos often reside between 40-50 years, so the Zoo expects to rejoice many extra hippo birthdays! It’s exhausting to consider that Fiona has come up to now since her untimely start in 2017, and though she continues to be rising, Fiona is approaching maturity. Full-term hippos her age are usually between 2,000-3,000 lbs, however Fiona is round 1,800 lbs. Whether or not she will likely be an average-sized hippo or stay on the smaller aspect continues to be unknown, however she is in nice well being!
As a result of they’re such massive animals, hippos should eat rather a lot – between 30 and 150 lbs of meals per day! They may usually come onto land at evening to graze on grass, which makes up the vast majority of their herbivorous eating regimen. In spite of everything that meals is digested, it has to go someplace. Right here on the Zoo, the hippos’ waste in addition to bits of straw or meals that might usually cloud the water is filtered out. A conveyor belt removes the bigger particles to be composted, sand filters take away grime and smaller particles, and microfibers hold the water chemically balanced. This technique makes Hippo Cove probably the most sustainable hippo exhibit on this planet, and is simply one of many many sustainability initiatives that contribute to the Cincinnati Zoo’s title of Greenest Zoo in America®!
You might have additionally seen the varsity of tilapia that share the water with the hippos. These fish assist act as a clean-up crew previous to the filtration system by consuming particles within the water. The clear, clear water ensuing from the tilapia and the filtration system retains each Zoo visitors and the hippos glad. It doesn’t finish there; all 70,000 gallons of water within the exhibit is recycled. Beneath the African savanna exhibit is a 400,000 gallon cistern of rainwater collected from Zoo grounds. This water is handled and utilized in Hippo Cove and in a number of different methods all through the Zoo.
Wild hippos share habitat with tilapia too, and the recycling of vitamins by these fish is a crucial element of the meals net in Africa. Nonetheless, this habitat is sadly reducing, negatively impacting hippos and the opposite organisms who share their rivers. Hippos are discovered solely in japanese Africa regardless of their former vary extending all through the entire continent. Hippos rely on freshwater, which is a finite useful resource. Although freshwater could also be considerable the place we reside, conserving water on the Zoo and at residence means that there’s extra to go round. So, by having an environmentally-friendly hippo exhibit, the Zoo helps wild hippos in Africa in addition to wildlife all over the world by extension.
- Shorten your showers by only one minute
- Flip off the tap when brushing your tooth
- Water your crops with rainwater or leftover water out of your water bottle
- Solely run the dishwasher and washer when masses are full
- Use a rain barrel to catch rainwater to your backyard
Educators and group teams are invited to maintain the hippopoto-mazing studying going by signing up for a digital Wild Chat known as My B.F.F(iona). This program combines pre-recorded movies and reside dialog with a Zoo educator to present your college students the inside-scoop on the lives of Fiona and her companions! To learn extra and to enroll, go to our web site.