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Hippo at Zoo Miami undergoes critical surgery

Aubergine has procedure Friday to fix defect

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MIAMI – A pygmy hippopotamus named Aubergine at Zoo Miami underwent surgery on Friday to repair a birth defect that could have led to a life-threatening condition. 

A team of physicians and veterinarians performed surgery to repair a secondary palate defect in the hippo. Its soft palate was abnormally short, which caused food to enter the nasal cavity when it swallowed. 

Aubergine, who was born Aug. 4 and weighs just over 125 pounds, will be kept off exhibit and fed soft foods over the next two weeks so the sutures in its extended palate can heal. 

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