Adorable Baby Pygmy Hippo Born At Melbourne Zoo

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Morenike Adebayo

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440 Adorable Baby Pygmy Hippo Born At Melbourne Zoo
Mother and baby pygmy hippotamuses / Reuters / haber

Melbourne Zoo welcomed a new arrival to their animal crew last month when pygmy hippopotamus Petre successfully gave birth to a male calf.

Born on May 25, this baby pygmy hippopotamus is the first to be born at Melbourne Zoo in Victoria, Australia, since 1981. Cameras were installed in the expectant mother's night den so that zookeepers could observe the as-yet-unnamed baby's arrival.


“All of us are incredibly excited to be welcoming this calf after so many years without a Pygmy Hippo birth,” said Wild Sea Manager Justin Valentine on the zoo’s official blog.

Valentine also noted that the new mother is showing positive signs of attentive bonding with her newborn.

'[We're] just making sure he's suckling strongly and continuing to put on a lot of weight. He's putting on about a half kilo a day,' said zoo veterinarian Sarah Frith in a video statement from Melbourne Zoo. 



An adult pygmy hippopotamus grows to about 70-80 centimeters (2.3-2.6 feet) tall and weighs around 250 kilograms (551 pounds), which is about a quarter of the size of a full-sized hippopotamus.

Native to West Africa, the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) is classified as an endangered species. The biggest threats to pygmy hippos are habitat loss due to deforestation and illegal poaching. However, breeding programs in zoos around the world, such as the Melbourne Zoo, are working on conservation efforts to protect the species from extinction.

Watch the moment Petre gave birth in the video below from Zoos Victoria.



[H/T Guardian]


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