Pygmy hippo baby makes big splash
Monday 8 October 2012
She may be tiny, but a rare pygmy hippo is making a big splash at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Born eight weeks ago the cute calf, called Georgina, is enjoying paddling around her heated indoor pool alongside mum, Flora, and exploring her new surroundings.
The youngster is the second born to parents Flora and Tapon, and comes 18 months after the birth of their son, Sappo, who was the first male pygmy hippo to be born in Europe.
Africa section team leader, Mark Holden, said: “Like the name hippopotamus – which means water horse – suggests, Georgina enjoys taking a dip, paddling around, and blowing bubbles under the water.
“Flora’s a star mum and is really helping the new calf to thrive.”
The new arrival is an important addition to the European Endangered Species Programme and for the conservation of this species worldwide.
Included on ZSL’s Edge of Existence programme – a global conservation programme dedicated to threatened animal species which have unique evolutionary history – pygmy hippos are threatened and in the wild their numbers have dwindled to less than 3,000.