Hippo born in Vietnam zoo

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The hippo and her newborn at Dai Nam Zoo in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam, Wednesday

A hippopotamus gave birth to a calf at a zoo in southern Vietnam Wednesday.

Duong Thanh Phi, the director of Dai Nam Zoo in Binh Duong Province, said staff had stayed overnight to midwife the mother after she had skipped meals Tuesday.

The calf weighs 25 kilograms, is suckling, and swims on its own, he said.

Its four-year-old parents had been bought from an Israeli zoo three years ago for 34,000 euros (US$42,600).

The hippopotamus, meaning "river horse" in ancient Greek, threatened by loss of access to fresh water and poaching, is classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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