Thursday, July 14, 2022

Little Hippo Matilda is one year old


Little Matilda of ABQ Biopark in Albuquerque NM

Matilda with her favorite toy. 

Matilda, the Nile Hippo baby of the ABQ Biopark, will celebrate her first birthday on July 19, 2022, 

Matilda loves her green ball.

Matilda is the third offspring of parents Karen and Moe at the Biopark. 

Mama Karen plays with Matilda and her ball.

Karen and Moe's first baby was a little girl named Boopie, now going by the name of Biopelo, who is in Dallas now and is mother of a little hippo born in 2019.

Their second baby, born in 2015, was named Brynn, until he moved to San Antonio Zoo to be with Karen's mother Uma, who is his grandmother, and now he goes by Timothy. 

Karen's late father Tumbo (Matilda and Timothy's grandfather) was a little bit famous too. He was featured on the cover of National Geographic in 2016 as the hippo photographed at San Antonio Zoo by Joel Santore for his well known Photo Ark.  Tumbo was 41 when he was photographed. He died at almost age 43, sadly. Click on the link below to see Tumbo.

Timothy is well known for his many charming and lovelorn letters to a famous little hippo girl in Cincinnati, Fiona.  Maybe those two will get together someday.

Matilda on shore with the beloved green ball. 

I visited Matilda at the end of June at the ABQ Biopark, and found her playing with her big green ball. She loved to roll it around, and try to bite it. Her mom Karen seemed to like the ball too.

Matilda uses her open mouth to steer the ball.

Matilda noses the ball.

She has learned to use her mouth to aim the ball,
 almost like she wants to eat it.

Karen chases Matilda and Matilda chases the ball.

Matilda has a large flat area, perfect for a game of ball.

 Babies and toddlers all seem to love playing with a ball. 

There is no underwater hippo viewing at ABQ Biopark,
but it was easy to see Matilda flying around the pool with her ball.

Attack mom and the ball at the same time.

Like a tug of war, Matilda and her mom go for the same prize.

When Matilda pushed the ball into the pool, it was even more fun. She could splash and push it all around. 

Matilda would "porpoise" out of the water to get the ball.

Hippos will often "porpoise" to the top of the pool, and Matilda liked to leap out at the ball, pushing it here and there.

So much splashing in the game of water polo.

Matilda thinks she is a seal, going to balance that ball on her nose.

Sometimes mom Karen got into the game, but daddy Moe seemed to just want to chill out.

Maybe Mom Karen wants to play too.
Matilda just wanted to play all day. Many zoo visitors gathered on the bridge to watch the little hippo play in the pool. 

Sometimes Matilda seemed to be biting the ball.

A content child.

Another score for Matilda.

And here's the whole family. Daddy Mo is behind Matilda,
 and Mom Karen has the ball.

Happy first birthday to Matilda.  Have a ball, little girl.

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