Update: Hippo gives birth in Lake Panic

Posted on 16 June 2021

Images of a baby hippo being born in Lake Panic, Kruger National Park were celebrated by Getaway viewers on youth day, and we have an update with new pictures of the mother and calf before and after the birth. The remarkable event was captured by Wendy Priilaid from the Lake Panic hide on 31 May.

‘Before the birth mama was floating around a little restlessly (9.09). Then she was napping briefly before the birth,’ said Sarah. ‘The first pic of the feet emerging was taken at 9.49.20, then mama submerged. At 9.50.18 the baby’s head popped up out of the water.’

Soon-to-be mom appears to be napping. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

The baby hippo’s feet emerge. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

The baby hippo emerges from the water after the mother submerged during the birth. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

(above and below) It appears the mother is helping the baby by nudging it towards the bank. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

Photo by Wendy Priilaid

A close-up of the newborn addition to the pod. Hippo calves are incredibly cute. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

Mother and calf take a rest after an eventful morning. Photo by Wendy Priilaid

Hippopotamus’ typically give birth underwater, which helps the mother conserve her energy during the birthing process by alleviating weight. The average gestation period of a hippo is 243 days. Hippos produce no more than one calf every two years.

Lake Panic is a favourite with wildlife photographers and birders. When there is little birding action (which is seldom) visitors can be entertained by the resident hippos that call the lake home. Lake Panic is located on the S42 near Skukuza on the road to the Nursery.



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