09/25/2012 06:31 EDT | Updated 09/25/2012 06:40 EDT

Calgary Zoo Hippo: Tiny Giant Ready To Mingle


The latest addition to the Calgary Zoo is a tiny hippo, the facility announced Tuesday.

Making its home at the zoo's African Savannah, the river hippopotamus arrived in the city from the Granby Zoo in Quebec on Monday, zoo officials said.

In a slight departure from the norm, the hippo - which has yet to be named but is currently being referred to as Ghost, due to its Oct. 31 birthday - will likely be seen by the public over the next few days, the zoo said.

“Normally animals quarantine in isolation for 30 days, but after careful consideration we have decided it is in the best interests of both hippos to allow an early introduction,” explained Jamie Dorgan, area curator.

“Granby’s hippos had no contact with hippos from other facilities and our hippo Sparky had previous contact with Granby’s hippos when the baby hippo Splash visited the Calgary Zoo several years ago.

"Therefore any potential health risk is extremely low and the benefits of an early introduction are significant for both hippos."

Ghost will move back and forth between the main exhibit pool and the back-of-house holding pool so he may not always be in public view, the zoo added.

The new addition comes nearly a month after another hippo at the Calgary Zoo died.

Foggy the hippo, so named because his bellows sounded like a foghorn, had to be euthanized due to age-related health problems, officials said at the time.

Foggy was 47 and had been living at the zoo since 1966.

Last week, the zoo announced the new penguin exhibit had produced its first egg.

The zoo says the incubation period for that egg is 52 to 65 days but are cautious because the odds may be stacked slightly against it in this case.

Baby Animals