Cincinnati Zoo says premature hippo calf shows progress

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo says a prematurely born baby hippo is showing some signs of progress.

Zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley says the female calf born early Tuesday is gaining some strength and had her first pool experience Thursday morning. The pool time should help build muscles and balance and maintain body temperature.

She says the baby is “hanging in there.”

The calf born six weeks early is getting 24-hour attention that includes tube feeding, vet checks and keeping her warm and moist.

The zoo says 17-year-old Bibi gave birth to the first Nile hippo born there in 75 years. The calf was 29 pounds at birth, well below the normal range of birth weight of 55 to 120 pounds and was unable to stand to nurse.