Australia's Taronga Zoo has a new pygmy hippopotamus on debut | daily-sun.com

Australia's Taronga Zoo has a new pygmy hippopotamus on debut

Sun Online Desk     17th March, 2017 11:45:46 printer

Australia's Taronga Zoo has a new pygmy hippopotamus on debut

A delightfully cute, baby pygmy hippopotamus has made her debut at Sydney's Taronga Zoo on Friday, waddling into the hearts of visitors, alongside her proud mother, Kambiri.

 

Proud first-time parents Fergus and mother Kambiri gave birth to the tiny female calf in late February, but today is the first time she is appearing in public.

 

The 5 kilogram female calf, currently unnamed spent the day paddling in the water, and stretching out her little legs as guests watched on in delight.

 

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the rare baby pygmy hippo explore the zoo's rainforest trail under the watchful eye of her mother, where she will be able to forage and practice her swimming.

 

Currently an endangered species, there are only 2000 to 3000 pygmy hippopotami in the wild, primarily in Liberia, with some venturing into Sierra Leone, Guinea.

 

Usually a reclusive and nocturnal creature, pygmy hippos are under threat from the loss of habitat in West Africa, and breeding programs, such as the one at Taronga Zoo, are crucial to their survival.

 

Renae Moss, zookeeper at Taronga, said that the gorgeous little calf is eating voraciously, and has nearly doubled in size since she was born.

 

"She's putting on weight every day and she's already got little rolls of fat around her neck," Moss said.

 

"Pygmy hippos naturally spend a lot of time in the water, so the calf is already having a great time learning to swim next to mum and even practicing holding her breath underwater."

 

The zoo will be holding a competition to name the baby calf over the coming weeks.

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