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Hippos Say Hello

Ann Thompson

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.

Credit Ann Thompson / 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.