The San Diego Zoo shared on Friday the birth of an endangered pygmy hippopotamus, a first for the zoo in over 30 years.
Four-year-old pygmy hippopotamus, Mabel, gave birth to a 12.4-pound male calf on April 9. The calf, which has not yet been named, already stood, walked and followed its mother within just a few hours of being born.
“Mom and calf are doing very well, they said – and the calf is nursing and getting lots of attention from the first-time mother,” the zoo said in a statement.
Pygmy hippos are listed as endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There are less than 2,500 pygmy hippos left and now remain. The zoo said they mostly live in rivers and streams in the forests of West Africa, and four other countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
“It will be approximately a month before Mabel and her calf, who now weighs 25 pounds, will have access to the main habitat,” the zoo added.
According to the zoo, the calf will not be introduced to his father, because they do not live in family groups and males do not play a role in the rearing of offspring.
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