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Dvůr Králové zoo plans to resume hippo breeding

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Dvur Kralove nad Labem, East Bohemia, June 8 (CTK) – A new male hippopotamus will arrive in the Dvur Kralove zoo on Friday to join Hula and Mona, the two females the zoo acquired last year with the aim to resume hippo breeding after 15 years, the zoo’s spokeswoman Andrea Jirousova told CTK today.

The nearly two-year-old male, Karl Wilhelm, will come from the zoo in Karlsruhe, Germany.

“We expect him to arrive on Friday evening. Afterwards, we will place him in the enclosure with the female hippos. If no problems emerge, the visitors will be able to see him as soon as this weekend,” zoologist Jiri Hruby said.

The zoo’s experts said the meeting of the male with the females is planned to take place in an open-air enclosure that they inhabit together with antelope herds and pelicans and that offers enough space to the animals.

“In winters, we transfer the hippos to a closed pavilion where their union could be problematic,” Hruby said.

Hippos returned to the Dvur Kralove zoo after a pause last year.

The zoo kept hippos from 1966. It succeeded in raising the first offspring in 1972. It raised eight young hippos, six females and two males, until 2002 when it donated its last hippo, the male Heini, abroad before a planned reconstruction of its pachyderms’ pavilion.

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