Bouncing Baby Hippo Learns to Swim (With a Little Boost From Mom)

Hippo tries getting its sea legs at the San Diego Zoo after being born Monday.

ByABC News
March 25, 2015, 4:24 PM

— -- This baby hippo is diving right into life at the San Diego Zoo.

Just four hours after being born on Monday, the newborn was getting an important swimming lesson from mom in their 150,000-gallon pool.

“What you’re seeing is mom teaching the baby how to surface for air,” Rick Schwartz, ambassador for the zoo, told ABC News of the adorable YouTube video. “A baby can hold its breath roughly 40 seconds to a minute. Although this may look like they’re playing, it’s an important life lesson on how you surface and how you take a breath.”

The gender of the baby hippo has not yet been determined because zookeepers like to give mother and baby plenty of time to bond before going in for a closer look.

“We don’t force it,” said Schwartz. “We wait for the relationship for mom and baby to be established and make sure everything’s going well there. If we see mom out on the beach or away from baby, we’ll take a look then.”

This is the fifth baby for the 30-year-old mother, Funani, since she’s been at the San Diego Zoo.

“She’s a great mom,” Schwartz said. “They’re doing great right now.”

The yet-to-be-named baby hippo probably weighs about 50 to 55 pounds, but that could easily double in one week -- all thanks to the amount of mom’s milk it drinks on a daily basis.

All that eating doesn’t seem to be slowing this little guy down, though. It seems to already be getting its sea legs.