Pygmy Hippo Makes Her Debut in Tampa

pygmy hippo
David Parkinson

The Lowry Park Zoo is celebrating an early holiday gift this season: the birth of a rare baby pygmy hippopotamus.

The female calf, who weighed only 10 pounds when she was born just before Thanksgiving, is thriving at the Tampa zoo. She's the second baby for mother Zsa Zsa.

This kind of hippo is much smaller than its relative, the Nile hippo. When it's full grown, an adult pygmy hippo stands only about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs between 350 and 550 pounds.

"With fewer than 3,000 pigmy hippos in the wild, each birth is vital if we have any hope of saving this truly unique species,” says Dr. Larry Killmar, the zoo's vice president of animal science and conservation.

The calf doesn't have a name yet, but the zoo just closed a naming contest that invited fans to pick one of three monikers: Zawadi ("gift"), Zola ("to love") or Zuri ("beautiful"). Stay tuned, and we'll let you know which name got the most votes!


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