It’s a Boy!

August 12, 2021

THREE-WEEK OLD BABY HIPPO’S DAD CELEBRATES WITH A BLUE WATERMELON SMASH – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo today announced their newest bundle of joy – a three-week-old Nile hippo – is a boy! To celebrate, 18-year-old first-time Nile hippo dad, Biko, smashed a watermelon with the insides dyed blue, with animal-safe food coloring. Enjoy this video, for an up-close view of the smashing good time!

Baby hippo facts:

– Born July 20
– Mom: Zambezi (zam-BEE-zee)
– Dad: Biko (BEE-koh)
– First hippo born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 32 years
– Baby weighs 115 pounds
– Guests can visit mom and baby in Water’s Edge: Africa, the Zoo’s newest exhibit
– Advance tickets to the Zoo are required and available at

About Water’s Edge: Africa

Water’s Edge: Africa opened in June 2020, with brand-new homes for hippos, African penguins, ring-tailed lemurs, warthogs, pink-backed pelicans and more. Hippo breeding was a key focus of the exhibit’s design, which includes a hippo river loop that can be separated to create mom-and-baby nurseries. Guests can get face-to-face with hippos at their knife-edge pool, or get a bird’s-eye view of them in their yards from a giant rope suspension bridge. The exhibit also has an off-exhibit pool, which can be used if Zambezi’s care team sees she’d like more privacy with her calf.

About Nile Hippos

Only 30 organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in North America, including Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, house hippos. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes Nile hippopotamuses as a species vulnerable to extinction in the wild, estimating 125,000 to 150,000 remain in their native habitats. The primary threats are habitat loss and illegal and unregulated hunting. Hippos are hunted for their meat and for their ivory canine teeth.

As first-time parents, Biko’s and Zambezi’s offspring represents an important contribution to the population of hippos in human care. The Nile Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan manages the population’s breeding recommendations to achieve the highest possible genetic diversity in the pool. More about Nile hippos at CMZoo.

About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2021, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #4 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #3 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 233 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of very few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.