Thug and Nicky

A pygmy hippo teeth cleaning at ZSL London Zoo


Born: Aalborg zoo 16/05/1996

Weight: 316kg

Likes: Having his teeth cleaned, carrots and clover

Dislikes: Bananas and onions

Contrary to his name, Thug is a gentle soul who loves nothing more than to swim and sleep. When he’s not indulging in a relaxing soak, Thug can’t resist chasing Nicky around! However, Thug’s soft side means that most of the time it’s Nicky who’s calling the shots in their hippo home.

A pygmy hippo at ZSL London Zoo


Born: Rome zoo 16/02/1995

Weight: 226kg

Likes: Eating willow branches and clover

Dislikes: Bananas

Nicky, also known as Nicky Noo to some, is a very cheeky and inquisitive pygmy hippo. She can’t resist keeping an eye on her keepers, which means she often tries sneaks up on them. Like Thug, Nicky loves wallowing, sleeping and swimming. When she came to the zoo Nicky was thought to be a male hippo and was called Nicoli!

How to tell them apart

Nicky is the smaller of the two, with a less hairy tail and less bulky neck. Thug, for a Pygmy Hippo, is quite big and is therefore the tallest of the pair. He is also longer and wider than his mate. Try and see if you can spot the differences when you visit!

A pygmy hippo at ZSL London Zoo

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