GREEN

Say Hello To This Adorable Pygmy Hippo Calf

This cutie is ready for her close up.

17/03/2017 11:56 AM AEDT | Updated 17/03/2017 1:09 PM AEDT
Paul Fahy
Oh hay there!

Taronga Zoo in Sydney is celebrating an adorable addition to the zoo. This female Pygmy Hippo calf was born on 21st February and is ready to make her debut to the public.

Pygmy Hippos are an endangered species -- there are only between 2000 to 3000 left in the wild -- so any calf born in captivity is good news for the species.

The newborn hippo, who doesn't have a name yet, weighed 5 kilograms at birth and is growing steadily each day. She's learning to swim with first-time parents Fergus and Kambiri.

"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," Keeper Renae Moss said in a statement.

The Pygmy Hippos are solitary animals native to the forests and swamps of West Africa. They are only half as tall as the hippopotamus and have longer legs, a smaller head and a narrower mouth compared to it's larger cousin. Habitat loss, poaching, hunting and civil unrest is driving their decline of this elusive animal.

"Protecting their natural habitat is critical in ensuring the survival of wild populations and we can all help Pygmy Hippos by choosing paper and wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council" said Renae.

You can go to see the little one at Taronga's Rainforest Trail and stay tuned for a competition to name the Pygmy Hippo Calf.

Enough talk, here are the first pics of the cutest hippo at the zoo!

Paul Fahy
A kiss for mum Kambiri.
Paul Fahy
"Look at me walk mum!"
Paul Fahy
Keepers say Kambiri is an "absolute natural as a mother".
Paul Fahy
"Look, I'm swimming by myself!"
Paul Fahy
A pair of hungry hippos.
Paul Fahy
"Wait for me!"


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