Cheeky and her two month old calf.
Hippo mothers, like any mum, are very protective of their babies. When a calf is about five to six weeks of age the first hippo allowed contact with the new baby is the bull. Often the bull is the father, but not always. The next hippos that are allowed to approach the baby are other small hippos up to about three and a half years of age. If the calf is a male the mother will not normally allow any other female contact with her calf. This can be to keep it from harm as a mother with another male calf will often attack the new baby and could even kill it if the mother of the baby is not quick enough to react. In this photo the baby is a female.
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