Zoo celebrates birth of endangered pygmy hippo calf

Laura Paterson
Monday 03 May 2021 11:46
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Pygmy hippo calf

A zoo has welcomed the arrival of an endangered pygmy hippo calf.

The calf weighed just 11lb 14 oz (5.4kg) when she was born last month and is now going on show to the public.

Born on April 17 at Edinburgh Zoo to parents Otto and Gloria she now weighs 1st 4lb (8.4kg).

Pygmy hippos

Jonny Appleyard, the zoo’s hoofstock team leader, said: “Our new arrival is doing really well and is growing stronger and more confident every day.

“As she is still so young, we are limiting opening hours and numbers in our indoor viewing area to give the calf and mum Gloria some time to get used to visitors.

“The first 30 days are critical for her development, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them both at this sensitive time and plan to name her in the coming weeks.”

Pygmy hippo

Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa where populations are rapidly falling through habitat destruction by logging, farming and human settlements, as well as being hunted for bushmeat.

Support for the species from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), which operates the zoo, includes publishing the first ever genomic study of pygmy hippos through work in the RZSS WildGenes laboratory.

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