A tiny endangered pygmy hippo calf has been born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo – arriving just in time for the wildlife conservation charity to reopen its gates to visitors this week.
Weighing in at just 5.4kg when born, the female calf arrived on Saturday 17th April, creating a family for proud parents Otto and Gloria.
Jonny Appleyard, hoofstock team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Our new arrival is doing really well and is growing stronger and more confident every day.
“As she is still so young, we are limiting opening hours and numbers in our indoor viewing area to give the calf and mum Gloria some time to get used to visitors. The first 30 days are critical for her development, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them both at this sensitive time and plan to name her in the coming weeks.”
Native to West Africa, pygmy hippos live in dense forests near rivers and streams and are far smaller than the common hippopotamus. They are good swimmers and have muscular valves that close their ears and nostrils when submerged. Pygmy hippos are also herbivores, eating leaves and grasses, and will uproot swamp plants which they bite with their lips and crush hard fruit with their teeth.
To find out more about visiting Edinburgh Zoo go to: edinburghzoo.org.uk/we-are-open.
Watch adorable footage of Edinburgh Zoo’s endangered pygmy hippo calf here: