The Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia, America, is celebrating the birth of a baby Pygmy Hippo.
Born on 6 December 2022, the Pygmy Hippopotamus does not yet have a name. Its parents are Iris and Corwin. Iris was pregnant for 7 months before giving birth to her daughter.
She weighed 7 kilograms (16 pounds) and is growing rapidly. After a week, she was already 11 kilograms (24 pounds). When she is an adult, she will weigh up to 272 kilograms (600 pounds).
She is only the second Pygmy Hippopotamus calf to be born in Virginia. The Pygmy Hippopotamus is an endangered species, with less than 2,500 adult pygmy hippos in the wild. It is from the dense forests and swamps of west African countries, such as Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Mother Iris had no complications and both mother and daughter are healthy. They are in a private enclosure until the baby is old enough to be shown to the public. They will soon be moved to an enclosure with an indoor pool. They are semi-aquatic, which means that they live in freshwater rivers and on land. It needs water to keep its skin moist.
The new addition will give Zoo staff the opportunity to observe and study the Pygmy Hippopotamus.
The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippopotamid. It is a semi-aquatic mammal.
It is half the size of the Common Hippopotamus. As an adult, it measures about 75-100 centimetres (29-39 inches) tall and 150-175 centimetres (59-69 inches) in length.
It is nocturnal, feeding at night. It is herbivorous, eating plants, grasses, ferns and fruit.
It lives for 30 to 55 years.
Photographs: Photos are from the Metro Richmond Zoo & CNN website
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