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Pet A Baby Hippo At The L.A. Zoo

Mara and Rosie a few days after Rosie was born in late 2014. (Courtesy Tad Motoyama and the L.A. Zoo)
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Let’s be real here. Given the chance to take a selfie with a baby hippopotamus, you totally would right?

L.A. Zoo is letting visitors and their children do just that at its new “Hippo Encounter” tour, for the next few months the. On weekends and holidays, zoogoers can get up-close and personal with one of the zoo’s Hippos, named Mara, and her 15-month old daughter, named Rosie, according to ABC 7.

At the tour, small groups of 15 adults and children are shuttled behind-the-scenes at the Zoo where they meet Rosie and Mara in their back-stage enclosures. There, zoo staff shares information on the hippo’s daily routines, some facts about hippos, as well as more information about how the zoo trains and feeds their hippos.

Culminating the visit, zoogoers are allowed to pet the hippos. Mara, who weighs about 3,700 pounds and possesses a mouth that could probably swallow a child whole, loves to be pet.

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"They're known to be very, very aggressive and territorial in the wild. Obviously at the zoo, it's a little different. They're pretty friendly, they're letting us do these wonderful tours here at the zoo," hippo-keeper Jennifer Gruenewald said to ABC 7.

Tickets to the Hippo Encounter cost $15 per person, on top of the Zoo’s regular admission fee. Tour groups are kept small and ticket numbers are limited. But a quick look at the zoo’s ticketing website shows that there are plenty of tickets available for purchase over the next few weeks.

Tours run one once a day at noon on Holidays and weekends. Children aged four and up are welcome on the tour, along with an adult chaperone.