Baby hippo at Dallas Zoo dies shortly after birth

The first baby hippopotamus born at a new Dallas Zoo exhibit has died.

The Dallas Morning News reports that zoo officials said a female hippo gave birth early Saturday to her first calf, but she did not help the newborn to the surface of the pool soon enough.

The Dallas Zoo's vice president of animal operations and welfare Harrison Edell said in a statement that "there was no safe way" for staff to assist the calf.

The official cause of death is pending.

Boipelo and her mate Adhama were highly celebrated additions to the zoo when they moved to Dallas in March and into the new $14 million Simmons Hippo Outpost exhibit. Before that, the zoo had not had a hippo since 2001, when the zoo's last one died.

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