Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Whoops! Hippo Gives Birth Even Though She Was On Birth Control (Photos)

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Hippos: they're just like you! Sometimes their birth control just doesn't work like it's supposed to.

Mara is a 10-year-old hippopotamus who came from the Topeka Zoo in December 2013. She hit it off with Adhama, a 3-year-old male from San Diego had arrived the previous June. The Los Angeles Zoo says the pair had "an immediate connection." Mara was put on birth control because breeding is closely monitored by the Species Survival Program.

Animal staff noticed that over the past few months she was putting on weight, but pregnancy tests for hippos are apparently kind of tricky. Sure enough on Halloween afternoon she went into labor and gave birth to a healthy calf. Often hippos give birth in the water and their calves swim around in the water for two weeks, but Mara opted to have her baby on dry land. Guests who stopped by at the zoo were actually able to witness the birth. So far they don't know what the sex of the baby is, and it doesn't have a name yet either.

This is the zoo's first baby in 26 years, the Associated Press says.

Support for LAist comes from

The pair have had the weekend to bond, and you can now see dad, mom and baby at the zoo. And no, the baby is not a cat.