Plush new pad for pygmy hippos

Luxury is the name of the game at our newest exhibit – a plush pad for pygmy hippos, Thug and Nicky.

The lifelong companions have moved into a brand new home, joining the giraffes, zebras, and African hunting dogs in our Into Africa exhibit.

Thug the pygmy hippo in his new enclosure

Kitted out with heated pools, specially-designed gardens and a team of attentive staff ready to wait on the twosome hoof and foot, the new exhibit is nothing short of a day at the spa for the pampered pair.

The duo’s new keepers marked the unveiling of their new home on Thursday morning by treating Thug and Nicky to a tasty platter of their favourite snack of watermelon.

Thug eating watermelon in his new enclosure

Classed as endangered by the IUCN and a focal species of ZSL’s global conservation programme, EDGE of Existence,  pygmy hippos are under constant threat from poaching and habitat-loss in the wild, where conservationists estimate that less than 3,000 individuals remain.

Thug swimming in the moat

Pygmy hippos like to mark their territory by spraying their poo far and wide; ensuring their keepers are kept busy clearing up after them. Taking inspiration from their unusual potty-habits, ZSL London Zoo will be celebrating Poo at the Zoo throughout the Easter holidays, with a packed programme of poo-related events, including a dung-beetle derby and talks filled with facts about faeces. 

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