VIDEO: 500-Lb. Hippo Is Zoo's Star Acrobat

08/09/2011 at 05:00 PM EDT



When a baby gets on a scale, it's often a milestone of growth – and it's no different for the San Diego Zoo's newest hippo calf, 5-month-old Adhama, who last weighed in at just under 500 lbs.

The zoo's star baby has been captivating visitors since he was born (this, too, happened in front of an audience). He's been performing water ballets and exhibiting play behavior like biting his mother's face, which helps the teething process.





"Adhama's personality has definitely been blossoming," says animal-care supervisor Matt Akel. "You'll see him stand up on the rock to take a breath, and then spin sideways, tumble in the water upside down. He's quite interesting to watch."

While the acrobatic young calf is fairly light on his feet, he won't be so small for long: Someday, Adhama could grow to weigh as much as 7,000 lbs.!

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