Baby hippo Hodor is Whipsnade’s latest attraction

Hodor and his mum, Lola
Hodor and his mum, Lola

Zookeepers are celebrating the latest new arrival at Whipsnade Zoo – a baby common hippopotamus.

The tiny male hippo calf weighed 30kg at birth – about the same as an adult Labrador dog – and is dwarfed by his mother, Lola, who tips the scales at 1.5 tonnes.

The new calf was born on July 21, following an eight-month gestation period, and keepers have named him Hodor, after the loveable gentle giant from the hit TV series Game of Thrones.

He is the third offspring for Lola, aged 13, and 16-year-old male, Hoover.

Hodor has same pink skin markings on his legs as his mum, making him look as if he is wearing a tiny pair of socks.

Zookeeper Angela Robinson said: “I was lucky enough to be working on the day Lola gave birth, which was an incredible moment to witness and I’m thrilled that the calf is doing so well.

“The calf and mother are both progressing exactly as we would hope and it won’t be long before we see the pair venture outdoors and explore the outside part of their home.

“Hodor seems to be a very confident and playful young hippo and, like any youngster, he has taken a liking to winding up his mum by chasing and play biting at her tail.

“Lola is a very attentive and doting mother. She never takes her eyes off him and often allows the calf to rest on her in the water and will help nudge him on to land when getting out of the pool.”