Birthing is a blessing. Especially for those people who experienced the loss of a baby. It isn’t easy to endure but some mothers would like to keep hope alive. These moms surely want to receive that miracle of giving birth to a healthy baby.
It’s no different when it comes to animals.
Meet Cleopatra – Cleo for short. She is a pygmy hippopotamus at Franklin Park Zoo which is located in Boston. She had a tough experience in the past. She experienced giving birth to stillborn calves twice. It was in 2018 and 2019. It was because of complications from prolonged labor.
It was a devastating moment not only for Cleo but also for her care team and the veterinary staff of Franklin Park Zoo.
These people did not give up, though. The staff of Zoo New England literally did everything and even participated in the Pygmy Hippo Species Survival Plan (SSP) – which is a cooperative and inter-zoo program to help save endangered or threatened species by helping them recover.
Because of SSP breeding recommendations, Cleo got pregnant with her mate, Inocencio.
They also decided to induce Cleo for her pregnancy so they could assist her if needed. The whole team made all the necessary procedures to ensure that what happened to Cleo’s pregnancy in the last few years would never happen again.
“On Saturday, October 3, Cleo received her first hormone injection to prepare her for labor, a second injection 24 hours later, and her care team monitored her and the baby around the clock through the weekend with ultrasounds every few hours. By late afternoon on Monday, October 5, she began showing signs of labor but no contractions. After oxytocin injections were not effective to induce contractions, the veterinary team manually delivered the calf.”
On October 5, the staff of Zoo New England witnessed the fruit of their efforts in protecting Cleo.
Cleo has given birth to a healthy 13-pound male calf.
In fact, it is the very first pygmy hippo born at Zoo New England. It is such a huge achievement for the staff of the said zoo.
“The birth was a joyous moment marking the culmination of years of work, careful planning, and dedication by the animal care and veterinary teams.”
The calf was also very healthy.
According to the Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation, Dr. Eric Baitchman,
“The calf was immediately so bright, strong and aware, and was holding his head up right away. The calf was introduced to Cleo soon after birth and was nursing within a few hours.”
The calf was given the time to be nursed by its mother and their first moments together are so heartwarming.
The baby also received the proper care from the staff of the zoo. They gave him a bath and he has also received his first checkup.
On October 19, the zoo gave an update about Cleo and her newborn.
The baby passed the 20-pound mark!
The zoo is also making sure that the mother and the calf have enough time bonding together.
It’s indeed heartwarming to see that Cleo has received another chance to become a mother. The protection that the zoo has showered on her really helped a lot. It just shows how much they care for the animals and their natural habitat.
Watch the video below to see how the zoo has been taking care of Cleo and her newborn calf!
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