A baby female hippo has made her first trip outside her enclosure at a Swiss zoo after being born in May.
Newborn hippo Serena and her mother Helvetia, 29, visited their outdoor facilities at Basel Zoo in Switzerland for the first time after the youngster was brought into the world on 3rd May.
The zoo reported that 29-year-old mother went through the birth quietly and without problems and has been taking good care of the calf ever since.
Hippos give birth and suckle their young exclusively in water bodies as they are one of the safest places in nature for this species.
The pair hid in the closed areas of the zoo’s Africa exhibit due to the cold temperatures at the beginning of May, but went for a walk and took a swim in the small river in the outdoor area on 1st June.
Serena’s father, 30-year-old Wilhelm, has not yet met his daughter because Helvetia is very protective of her newborn.
According to the zoo, visitors need to be patient if they want to catch a glimpse of the newborn.
The indoor Africa exhibit is currently still closed for visitors but the small family can be spotted in the outdoor area at certain periods of the day.
Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius), native to sub-Saharan Africa, inhabit rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps where territorial males preside over a stretch of river and groups of five to 30 females and calves.
According to historical data, the species was widespread in North Africa and Europe during the Eemian and late Pleistocene periods until about 30,000 years ago, and were even common in Egypt’s Nile region during antiquity, but have since been eradicated.
The last reliable records of hippos in the Nile region are from the early 1800s.
Hippos are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species.