Watch the great pygmy hippo migration
Friday 19 May 2006
On a typically wet and windy British summer day, the pygmy hippos set out on their annual migration - watch video footage of the move!
Both Nicola and Thug are moved from their winter abode of the Cassons Pavilion back to their summer paddock, and although this migration is only to a neighbouring enclosure, for the animals it is a great upheaval, especially for these two whose main pastimes involve sleeping, eating and bathing.
The need for their relocation over winter is due to the drop in temperature. Their summer paddock is outside and features a huge pool, but as the weather gets colder the hippos no longer use it and this can cause their skin to dry out and crack.
Hippos normally exude a personal ‘moisturiser’ that keeps their skin nourished and smooth, but they need to be wet for this to be effective and if they are not bathing this can cause problems.
So to encourage them to take the water, their winter enclosure has the benefit of lovely, warm, bath-like pools which the hippos love relaxing in all day.
The hippos are quite used to their move, keepers just open the gates and with a little fencing to guide them, they walk right over, no problems!
To view this file you will need QuickTime installed on your computer – it is FREE to download and accessible for both Mac and PC.