The San Diego Zoo just lately introduced its latest (and arguably cutest) arrival: a new child male pygmy hippo, born on April 9 to its 4-year-old pygmy hippo mama Mabel.
Inside hours of beginning, the very tubby teen was standing up and following its mom round, toddling after her within the hippos’ indoor habitat, zoo representatives stated in a press release.
The infant, which has not but been named, weighed 12.Four lbs. (5.6 kilograms) at beginning and now weighs about 25 lbs. (11 kg). That is the primary profitable pygmy hippo beginning on the zoo in additional than three a long time, providing hope for the way forward for this endangered species, in keeping with the assertion.
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Within the maternity “ward” of the hippo habitat, the calf now has entry to a pool, after first testing the waters in a shallow tub. Over the previous few weeks, the newborn demonstrated that it was in a position to shut its nostrils and maintain its breath underwater.
As their identify implies, pygmy hippos (Choeropsis liberiensis) are considerably smaller than river hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius), in keeping with the San Diego Zoo. Grownup pygmy hippos weigh about 350 to 600 lbs. (160 to 270 kg), whereas river hippos can weigh as much as 10 occasions extra. The heads of pygmy hippos are additionally blunter and rounder than these of their greater hippo cousins, and pygmy hippos’ eyes are situated on the edges of their heads slightly than on the high.
Pygmy hippos usually look shiny and slick even after they aren’t within the water, because of a pinkish fluid referred to as “blood sweat” that oozes from their pores and skin. This liquid acts like a moisturizing sunscreen; it retains their pores and skin from drying and cracking within the warmth and protects the hippos from sunburn, in keeping with the zoo.
Fewer than 2,500 pygmy hippos stay of their native habitats in West Africa, the place they dwell in forest rivers in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
Mabel and her calf will stay separated from the calf’s father, a 13-year-old named Elgon, as pygmy hippos don’t sometimes dwell collectively as households, zoo representatives stated. In a couple of month, the newborn and his mom will emerge from their seclusion within the indoor enclosure and can start taking turns with Elgon to spend time in the primary hippo habitat.
Initially revealed on Reside Science.