The Dallas Zoo's baby hippo that has already captured hearts across North Texas will make its public debut this weekend.
Hippo mom Boipelo and her Nile hippopotamus explored the zoo's hippo outpost on Friday for the first time since the baby's birth on May 14. Mom led the baby from behind the scenes, out onto the sand in the habitat and right into the pool for a quick dip.
Beginning Saturday, the public will get a chance to visit the pair in their habitat, as long as the weather permits and mom's comfort level allows.
"This calf has captured our hearts, and we're thrilled to now be able to give the public a chance to watch this baby grow, explore, and continue to bond with mom," said Harrison Edell, Dallas Zoo's Executive Vice President of Animal Care and Conservation. "This debut in the habitat is the culmination of weeks-worth of planning and constant evaluation by the hippo team. But it's also the first of many milestones we're looking forward to with baby and mom."
The baby has stayed close by mom's side since birth, so the zoo hasn't been able to determine the baby's gender.
Dallas Zoo members can get a sneak peek of the duo on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. The zoo opens to the general public at 9 a.m.