Despite the couple’s obvious romance, the pregnancy came as a surprise for zoo staff: Bibi was on birth control, 동물원에 따르면.
“We weren’t planning to welcome a baby this soon, but nature found a way and ignored our calendar,” Christina Gorsuch, Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal care, said in the release.
“Most forms of contraception, in hippos or humans, is not 100% reliable,” Gorsuch said. “The dose that was previously effective for Bibi did not prevent pregnancy this time.”
Although the pregnancy was unexpected, zoo staff are still excited to welcome Fiona’s younger sibling.
“The hippo team is excited and also nervous,” Eric Byrd, manager of Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa team, said in the press release.
“As most people know, Bibi’s first baby, 피오나, was born six weeks premature and wouldn’t have survived without the intervention of her human caregivers,” Byrd said. “We are hoping for a full-term pregnancy and will be doing everything we can to support Bibi.”
Scientists from the zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife are already closely monitoring the pregnancy and have started Bibi on hormone supplements, the zoo added.