Whipsnade Zoo celebrates the arrival of baby hippo Hodor

PUBLISHED: 14:38 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:38 14 August 2017

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

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Zookeepers are hip-hippo-hooraying at the arrival of a baby common hippopotamus at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

Hodor’s birth was greeted with great excitement as common hippos are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species due to hunting and habitat loss.

The calf was born on July 21, weighing 30kg, the same weight as a fully-grown labrador dog. He is the third offspring for parents Lola, 13, and 16-year-old male, Hoover.

Keepers at the zoo were inspired by their obsession with the HBO series Game of Thrones, and named the offspring Hodor after the loving, friendly giant from the TV show.

Zookeeper Angela Robinson was there as Hodor entered the world: “It was an incredible moment to witness and I’m thrilled that the calf is doing so well.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

“The calf and mother are both progressing exactly as we would hope and it won’t be long before we see the pair venture outdoors and explore the outside part of their home for the first time.

“Hodor seems to be a very confident and playful young hippo and, like any youngster, he has taken a liking to winding up his mum by chasing and play biting at her tail.

“Lola is a very attentive and doting mother; she never takes her eyes off him and often allows the calf to rest on her in the water and will help nudge him onto land when getting out of the pool.”

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.Baby hippo Hodor at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - picture by Richard Hutchinson.

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