Speed Reads


The L.A. Zoo's newest addition is a baby hippo born to a mom on birth control

It was an October surprise: On Halloween, a 10-year-old hippopotamus on birth control welcomed a baby.

The first time on the high dive is always the toughest.

A photo posted by The Los Angeles Zoo (@thelosangeleszoo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:33pm PST

The hippo was the first one born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 26 years, and it was a shock considering the mother, Mara, was on birth control. The staff doesn't want to interrupt bonding time between Mara and the unnamed calf, so they haven't been able to get close enough to find out the sex of the baby.

Officials say that they had an inkling something was up when Mara began to gain weight, but weren't able to conduct a pregnancy test. They guessed that if she was indeed pregnant, the baby would be born in November. Mara went into labor at 1 p.m. Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports, and visitors in her exhibit were able to witness the birth.