VietNamNet Bridge – As for the workers at the Dai Nam Zoo in Binh Duong province, the happiest moments in their lives are the ones when they can see with their eyes the hippos and tigers begin labor and give birth.
When hippo gives birth
Duong Thanh Phi, Director of the Dai Nam Zoo, was so proud when showing a video clip showing a hippo giving birth.
“Here you can see the hippo baby which has just been brought into the world. Its body was still covered with blood,” Phi said, pointing to the screen. “And here it opens its eyes to receive the first morning sunlight in its life.”
Just some days ago, Phi and his officers at the zoo spent sleepless nights to carry out the delivery of the hippo. Hippo is listed as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. Therefore, the cottage where Phi and the workers stayed must be installed in a place which is far enough from the hippo’s lake.
Phi said that after reading scientific documents about hippos, he believed that hippo always give birth in water.
However, the hippo did not give birth in water as Phi thought, but it did it ashore. At 1.30 am of July 4, the hippo baby was born.
“It took only two minutes for the hippo baby to get out of the mother’s womb. However, the duration was long enough to make the zoo’s officers get excited.
Right after giving birth, the mother hippo cut navel cord for the baby, licked the baby clean, led the baby to the lake to have a bath, and then nursed the baby.
“I felt as if I received my child,” said Mai Xuan Tinh, a biological engineer, when he was asked how he felt when seeing the hippo baby.
Not only hippos, but Indochina tigers and 12 other animal species have successfully given birth at the Dai Nam Zoo. Phi said the white tiger and white lion in the zoo are pregnant. There are 500 individual animals here in the zoo, belonging to 65 species.
Working as baby-sitter for tigers
Many Indochina tigers at Dai Nam zoo have “grandchildren” already. At first, there were only nine tigers at the zoo, while there are now 15 F1 individuals and four F2. Indochina tigers prove to be the most fecund ones at the zoo. A female tiger can give birth to five babies at once.
Since many tigers cannot give all babies the breast, the workers here have to buy powder milk to feed tiger babies. One of the “unwilling babysitters” is the 27 year old young man Nguyen Thanh Phuong.
Phuong said he saw with his eyes tigers giving birth three times. The youngest baby is Bi, a F2 tiger, born some days ago.
When Bi realized that someone was going closer, it showed teeth to make threats against the person. However, after it realized that it was Phuong, Bi crept up and embraced Phuong.
“Bi is the son of Misu mother and Tiger father. Since Misu does not have enough milk to breast-feed, I have to make milk for Bi,” Phuong said.
“However, the most pitiable one is Tu. Tu’s parents have been starving it. Therefore, Phuong has to feed Tu once every three hours,” he said.
Phuong joked that he feels lucky because he is still single. “It would be a big problem if a married man stays up late at night to feed tigers,” he said.