Mom Defends Sex Reveal Using Zoo Hippo Amid Widespread Backlash

Balloon pops, confetti cannons, cupcakes,and even silly string are pretty standard options for sex reveals. But one couple outdid everyone with a sex reveal to top all other sex reveals. Hint: It involves a 5-year-old and 4,000 pound hippo. And if that sounds a little wild to you, you're not alone as plenty of people are upset about this idea. But the mom who used the hippo in her sex reveal is now defending her decision, outlining how the video was taken out of context.

The drama all started when producer Ana Bretón posted a tweet that read, "I did it. I found the worst gender reveal," alongside a video of a couple feeding a zoo hippo a watermelon to reveal their second child's sex. She first shared the video on Sept. 21, and since then, it has been viewed well over 6 million times.

The video, originally posted on TikTok, chronicles Bridgette and Jonathan Joseph’s baby sex reveal, which involved Tank the Hippo from the Capital of Texas Zoo and a water melon filled with Jell-O, according to TIME. In the viral video, you can see the hippo walking up to Joseph. He then tosses the watermelon into Tank's eager jaws, with the animal biting into it to reveal blue Jell-O. That's right, folks — the Josephs are having a boy.

Of course, Twitter users had strong feelings about the use of a hippo for a sex reveal, with the majority being concerned abut the quality of the food and the potential risk to the hippo.

"They should feed the baby to the hippo," one seemingly annoyed person tweeted.

But, according to zoo director Michael Hicks, there's apparently nothing to be worried about. That's because watermelon and Jell-O cups are included in Tank's regular weekly food regimen. What's more? The Jell-O in question was organic. "This is the same Jell-O people feed their kids. It's totally harmless," Hicks said, according to The New York Post.

Hicks went on to say that he was really concerned about the harshness of some of the comments.

"There were people saying, 'Oh I hope the hippo is okay,'" he said. "We have people saying 'I hope the baby dies. Why don't they just feed the baby to the hippo?'" Yikes, that's not OK at all — even if sex reveals aren't your cup of tea (I totally get it), it's not necessary to go there.

Not wanting the family to be unnecessarily harassed during this special time, Bretón took to Twitter with a follow up on Sept. 22.

"Hi all! I’ve been in touch with the family in the video," she wrote. "While I’m not a fan of gender reveals, it was not my intention to bring darkness to their special day. Here’s some background written by Bridgette."

She then attached a screen grab of a statement from Bridgette which reads:

This was one of the happiest days of our lives. With the help of the zoo and the amazing Tank the hippo, we learned that we are having a baby boy. It took some time and some extra money in fertility treatments, but we finally got pregnant! We would have been over the moon just the same to have another girl, but would have had kept trying for a boy, and it could have got very expensive. I want to experience the mother-son relationship so badly. I am filled with joy to learn that we got our baby boy! Can't wait to meet him.

She continued, "Also, for anyone who is concerned about the hippo and his well-being, he has been hand raised by his amazing owner who assisted us in feeding him only food that is safe for him to consume...organic Jell-O inside a watermelon...and yes, Tank was more than happy to have the treat. He walked right to us and opened his mouth."

Hicks confirmed Bridgette's account, noting that the hippo was not forced to do the reveal. "You can’t make a hippo do anything. He weighs 4,000 pounds,” he told The New York Post. “He enjoyed it as much as anybody else did."

And there you have it. If you're looking for a unique sex reveal, you can go ahead and cross hippo-chomping-a-Jell-O-filled-watermelon off of the list. To each their own, right?