Chilean zoo celebrates birth of pygmy hippo

  • 23/01/2012

An endangered pygmy hippopotamus has met the public for the first time at Buin Zoo, just south of Santiago, Chile.

The baby, who has yet to be named, weighed only 5.4kg when he was born on December 28. He is said to be eating well and has already made his first splashes in the pool.

Pygmy hippopotamuses are rare, even in captivity. As such, the birth is considered a huge achievement.

"It all contributes to the scientific community. In the background is the story of this baby's growth and, what is perhaps more important, is the fact that it is animal that comes from very interesting genes," explained Zoo Director Ignacio Idalsoaga. "The mix of this newborn is a very important contribution to the few examples that there are in captivity."

The father has been removed from the enclosure to allow a mother-baby bonding period.

The tiny calf is expected to reach 250kg when fully grown.

3 News / Reuters

source: newshub archive