Pygmy Hippo

Hippo-horray – Pygmy Hippo Calf Born at Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Sydney are celebrating World Hippo Day with a huge announcement of the birth and public debut of a four-week-old female Pygmy Hippopotamus calf born to Australasia’s only breeding pair, Kambiri and Fergus.

The female calf was born at 3:05am on 16 January 2024 weighing 4kg. Since the birth, 13-year-old experienced mum Kambiri and the calf have been bonding in the behind-the-scenes nursery at Taronga Zoo.


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Rare Pygmy Hippo Birth at the Greensboro Science Center

Greensboro, N.C. - - In a moment of pure delight and excitement, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is thrilled to announce the birth of a precious pygmy hippo calf. The calf was born on May 24, 2023 to Holly (female) and Ralph (male), a pair recommended for breeding by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program, marking a significant milestone in the GSC’s most recent zoo expansion, Revolution Ridge. This is the first pygmy hippo born at the GSC.

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Pygmy Hippo Makes A Splash With Debut At Taronga Zoo Sydney!

Taronga Zoo Sydney is thrilled to announce the public debut of a rare Pygmy Hippo calf who made her first big splash today under the watchful eye of her mother and keepers. To celebrate, Taronga is calling on the public to help name the adorable new arrival!


The pint-sized calf was born just over two weeks ago and joins a number of new additions these summer school holidays at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

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Pint-sized bundle of joy: Pygmy hippo born at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Taronga Zoo Sydney is delighted to announce the birth of a female Pygmy Hippo calf, the first calf born at the Zoo in over four years. The calf was born on Monday, November 22 to experienced parents Kambiri and Fergus and is doing swimmingly!

Whilst the calf is still perfecting the art of walking and in some instances waddling, she is spending most of her time in an off-exhibit nursery den, under the watchful eye of her mum, Kambiri.

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Pygmy Hippo Calf and Pygmy Marmoset Babies — ZooBorns Double Header

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This small female pygmy hippopotamus was born on November 11 at the Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine in France. She is the 3rd calf of Clafouti and Leah, a couple who had already had a male baby in 2012 and a female in 2015.

Named Quilla, the little calf is doing well and staying warm with her mother until spring arrives. She enjoys showers and long naps. She’s quickly putting on the pounds too, about 300 to 400 g per day, thanks to her mother's very rich milk.


Meanwhile, at Paradise Wildlife Park in England, the baby Pygmy Marmosets born July 24th this year have been given names. In a nod to the species’ status as the smallest living monkey, they were given suitably diminutive names. Introducing Pouco and Pequeno, named after two Portuguese words meaning little.

Edinburgh Zoo Welcomes Tiny Endangered Pygmy Hippo Calf 

A tiny Endangered pygmy hippo calf has been born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo to visitor favourites Otto and Gloria. 


The female calf arrived on Saturday 17 April and staff at the wildlife conservation charity will be keeping a close eye on the family as viewing gradually opens to visitors from today (Monday 3 May). 


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.” 

Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa where populations are declining rapidly due to habitat destruction caused by logging, farming and human settlement among other threats. RZSS support for the species includes publishing the first ever genomic study of pygmy hippos through work in the RZSS WildGenes laboratory. 

After reopening to local visitors earlier this year, Edinburgh Zoo was able to welcome back people from across the UK and open indoor areas again on 26 April, with a wide range of safety measures in place including restricted numbers and online advance booking required. 

Jonny added, “It has been great to be able to welcome our wonderful visitors back to the zoo and hope it won't be long before they can spot our little calf.  

“Every visit helps care for our amazing animals, like our pygmy hippos, and protects threatened species in Scotland and across the world.”  

More information about visiting Edinburgh Zoo and how people can help care for the charity’s animals is available at  

It's a Boy! Franklin Park Zoo Welcomes Tiny Pygmy Hippo


Say hello to Franklin Park Zoo's tiny new addition: a male pygmy hippo 💚 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This adorable little calf was born on October 5 and his arrival marks the first ever successful birth of this endangered species for Zoo New England! Years of careful work, planning, and dedication by our animal care and veterinary staff contributed to this birth. Zoo New England participates in the Pygmy Hippo Species Survival Plan, and each new birth contributes to the continued survival of this species. Thanks to the wonderful training program between Cleo and her care team, our staff was able to monitor her throughout her pregnancy via ultrasound. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Baby will be bonding with Mom, Cleo, behind-the-scenes before making his exhibit debut, so stay tuned for updates! Learn more at: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#Hippo #PygmyHippo #EndangeredSpecies #SavingSpecies #FPZoo #FranklinParkZoo #ZooNewEngland #BabyAnimals #CuteOverload #ZooBorns #repostios #repostw10

Toronto Zoo’s Pygmy Hippo Calf Needs a Name


The Toronto Zoo’s endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus calf made her public debut on September 19 in the Zoo’s African Rainforest Pavilion!

Twelve-year-old mom, Kindia, gave birth to the female calf on August 10. The pair will be on exhibit daily from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. However, this schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the Pygmy Hippo Maternity Area for feeding and to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to closely monitor her progress.

The Toronto Zoo launched their “Name Our Pygmy Hippopotamus Calf” promotion on Friday, September 21, 2018! The Zoo is asking the public to vote for their favourite name from a group of four names that have been thoughtfully selected by her Wildlife Care keeping staff.

You can cast your vote here: Voting ends Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm, and the name receiving the most votes will be announced as the winner on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

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Please cast your vote here:   / Photo Credits: Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is celebrating this recent birth as very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation. The species (Choeropsis liberiensis) is currently listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and there are approximately only 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, with Liberia having the majority of the population. Small numbers are also found in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Over the past 100 years, the Pygmy Hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo's mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet.

The Toronto Zoo is in a great position to bring forward the plight of the Pygmy Hippopotamus and supports Hippopotamus conservation efforts in the wild through keeper awareness events and the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.

First Pygmy Hippo in Seven Years for Taronga Zoo

1_Pygmy Hippo Calf 1_Photo by Paul Fahy

Taronga Zoo is celebrating the arrival of an endangered Pygmy Hippo calf!

The female calf was born to first-time parents Fergus and Kambiri on February 21, and she is the first of her kind born at the Zoo in nearly seven years. Taronga Zoo is also planning a competition to help choose a name for the calf.

The calf made her public debut under the watchful eye of her mother and keepers. Visitors can now begin to, hopefully, catch glimpses of the rare newborn on Taronga’s Rainforest Trail as she starts to explore outdoors and perfect the art of swimming.

“Pygmy Hippos naturally spend a lot of time in the water, so the calf is already having a great time learning to swim next to mum and even practicing holding her breath underwater,” said Keeper, Renae Moss.

“We’ve started by filling the pond to about 40 cm deep, but we’ll gradually increase the depth of the water as the little one grows in confidence.”

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4_Pygmy Hippo Calf 4_Photo by Paul FahyPhoto Credits: Paul Fahy / Taronga Zoo

Weighing about five kilograms at birth, the calf is growing at a healthy pace and has begun mouthing solid foods: “The calf is absolutely thriving. She’s putting on weight every day and she’s already got little rolls of fat around her neck,” Renae continued.

A vital addition to the region’s insurance population of Pygmy Hippos, the calf is the first born at Taronga since Kambiri in June 2010.

“Kambiri is proving to be an absolute natural as a mother. She’s very attentive and a great teacher, guiding the calf as she learns to swim and showing her what foods to eat,” said Renae.

“It’s also important for the calf to learn these natural mothering behaviors, as we hope she’ll grow up to be an excellent mum herself. With as few as 2000-3000 Pygmy Hippos remaining in the wild, every little calf is important.”

Native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, the Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a solitary animal that generally only comes together for breeding. Little is known about them in the wild, with the majority of research recorded about the species learned from those cared for in zoos. The species is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

“These elusive animals continue to be threatened by loss of habitat as their forest homes are logged and converted to farmland at an alarming rate. They are also vulnerable to poaching, hunting and civil unrest and their wild populations continue to decline. Protecting their natural habitat is critical in ensuring the survival of wild populations and we can all help Pygmy Hippos by choosing paper and wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council,” Renae concluded.

More great pics below the fold!

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Zoo Santo Inácio Announces New Pygmy Hippo

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Zoo Santo Inácio, in northern Portugal, announced their newest family member, a male Pygmy Hippo.

After almost nine months of pregnancy, little Mendes (named by affectionate keepers) was born weighing just over 4 kilos (9 lbs).

For several months after the birth, Mendes and his mother, Romina, were kept off-exhibit, giving them opportunity to bond. The time alone also allowed the new calf to practice swimming and learn other essential skills.

At three months old and 20 kilos heavier, Mendes and his mother can now be seen, on-exhibit, enjoying their mornings outside.

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4_ZSI.cria.hipopotamo (6)Photo Credits: Zoo Santo Inacio


The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippopotamid, native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, primarily in Liberia, with small populations in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.

They are reclusive and nocturnal and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being its much larger cousin the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius).

The Pygmy Hippo displays many terrestrial adaptations, but like its larger cousin, it is semi-aquatic and relies on water to keep its skin moist and its body temperature cool. Behaviors such as mating and giving birth may occur in water or on land.

They are herbivorous, feeding on ferns, broad-leaved plants, grasses, and fruits it finds in the forests.

In captivity, Pygmy Hippos have been conceived and born in all months of the year. The gestation period ranges from 190–210 days, and usually a single young is born.

The Common Hippopotamus gives birth and mates only in the water, but Pygmy Hippos mate and give birth on both land and water. Their young can swim almost immediately. At birth, they weigh 4.5–6.2 kg (9.9–13.7 lb) with males weighing about 0.25 kg (0.55 lb) more than females. They are fully weaned between six and eight months of age (before weaning they hide in the water by themselves, when mother leaves to forage for food). Suckling occurs with the mother lying on her side.

The Pygmy Hippo is classified as “Endangered” by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The main threats to these herbivores are deforestation due to rubber plantations, palm oil and coffee; hunting for its meat and its skull (used in traditional medicine and rituals); and civil strife. The World Conservation Union estimates there are fewer than 3,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

Zoo Santo Inácio joined the cause for protecting the Pygmy Hippo in 2006 with the receipt of a female, Romina, and two years later, with the arrival of a male, the Kibwana. The breeding couple entered an important European Programme for Endangered Species Breeding (EEP), led by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA).

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