Adhama’s Water Ballet


Meet Adhama, at the time this video was taken he was only 5 months old. This former San Diego Zoo resident wowed spectators with his aquatic dance. A vibrant youth with a growing personality, Adhama kept his mama Funani on her toes as well. Unknown at the time, this was just Adhama’s first rendezvous in the limelight. In a few years he would become known for something far greater.

Adhama’s water ballet was greatly admired by those who saw it. The awe-factor was most likely increased due to his young age and adorable baby features. In reality it wasn’t actually a dance routine but a playful baby hippo doing what hippos do.

Named “River Horse” by the Greek, the hippopotamus can’t actually swim. They’re too big and heavy. They can actually walk on the ground being completely submerged in water. To get around a little better they will hop, and sometimes spin, in the water by pushing off of the ground at the bottom. This results in the spectacular show that makes them appear to be dancing.


This adorable dancing hippo was transferred to the L.A. Zoo when he was 3 where he again made headlines. After being at the L.A. Zoo for six months a 10-year-old female hippopotamus, Mara, was transferred in from Topeka to be a companion for Adhama. The two became friends instantly and then a little more. Mara was given a shot every month for birth control, since the zoo wasn’t prepared for a baby hippo. Prepared or not, though, a baby hippo is what they got.

It just goes to show that birth control is never 100% effective. Baby Rosie, the first baby hippopotamus the L.A. Zoo has seen in nearly 28 years, was born October, 31st 2014. Since Mara was on birth control and it was a huge surprise, Adhama made the news again. His second debut in the spotlight.

The three still live in the L.A. Zoo together as a happy little family. Baby Rosie celebrated her first birthday last Halloween. Maybe next we’ll see Rosie in the news for her outstanding water ballet.


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Julie Antonson

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