Saturday 24 September 2016

Cuteness overload - Meet the baby pygmy hippo who won't leave his Mummy's side

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 20/11/2015 | 13:18

The baby is very attached to its mother
Credit: PA/Ben Birchall
The baby is very attached to its mother Credit: PA/Ben Birchall

Zoo keepers are thrilled at the arrival of a gorgeous baby pygmy hippo.

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The little calf, which has not been named yet was born at Bristol Zoo Gardens three weeks ago – and has made it clear that she's a bif fan of her mummy.

The little pygmy hippo calf hasn't been named yet
Credit: PA/Ben Birchall
The little pygmy hippo calf hasn't been named yet Credit: PA/Ben Birchall

The baby is happily exploring the zoo’s pygmy hippo exhibit, along with mummy Sirana and daddy Nato, indulging in lots of eating and swimming in the heated pool.

Zoo staff say that the hippo house will reopen to the public soon, once Sarana and Nato have gotten the hang of caring for their baby.

The little animal loves swimming in the heated pool
Credit:PA/Ben Birchall
The little animal loves swimming in the heated pool Credit:PA/Ben Birchall

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“The calf is looking very strong and it certainly feeds well.

The calf stays close to its mother's body at all times
Credit:PA/Ben Birchall
The calf stays close to its mother's body at all times Credit:PA/Ben Birchall

“Like any youngster, it wants to be close to mum at all times and is often seen by her side.

“It spends short periods of time in the water but is not quite as good at swimming as its parents so we often see mum Sirana guiding her little one back into the shallow water. Young hippos tire easily," a spokesman for the zoo said.

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The pygmy hippo is endangered in the wild, where it is thought that there are under 2,000 of them.

In Liberia, deforestation by logging companies is damaging one of the few remaining strongholds for the pygmy hippo.

Bristol Zoo Gardens form part of an international captive breeding programme for the animals.

"The European programme is a well-established and very successful programme and our male, Nato, is a genetically important animal; by default, so will be his offspring," the spokeswoman added.

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