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Hippos Say Hello

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Ann Thompson
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WVXU

Henry, the Cincinnati Zoo's new male hippo, did some heavy duty courting Thursday, the opening day of Hippo Cove. He's been by himself for 20 years at another zoo and is now joined by female, Bibi. Zookeepers say, however, she's in charge and tires of Henry chasing her around.

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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WVXU

The two, weighing thousands of pounds, didn't disappoint the long lines of people who came to see the two float and sluggishly swim around. Visitors can see them both underwater and above the surface.

About 8 a.m. zoo staff lured the hippos over to eat watermelons. All they had to do was open their mouths and crunch down on an entire melon in one bite.

Visitors were thrilled to see hippos at the zoo, the first time in Cincinnati in 20 years. Linda McMahan couldn't hide her excitement. "I thought it was great. It was beautiful. We had really good views of them on top of the water. They're just exciting animals."

A high-tech filtration system keeps the water clear. Fish also help do the job.

See more pictures on WVXU's Facebook page.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.