Animals

Sydney, Taronga Zoo: Adorable moment baby pygmy hippo smooches her mother

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A wonderful moment A happy baby pygmy hippopotamus pets its mother as the endangered creature appears for the first time at an Australian zoo

  • A newborn pygmy hippopotamus appeared for the first time at Taronga Zoo on Thursday
  • The calf learns to walk and swim with the encouragement of mother Camberi
  • The zoo welcomed its first calf four years ago as part of a conservation effort
  • Sydney Zoo has shared a photo of an adorable hippo sitting in front of her mom










A pygmy hippopotamus shared an adorable kiss with her mother while a rare newborn calf made its debut at an Australian zoo.

Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Friday released a photo of an as-yet-unnamed pygmy hippopotamus in the water holding its mother, Camberi.

“Just some hippo kisses for your back…” the zoo wrote on Facebook. ‘You’re so welcome.’

The pygmy hippopotamus, whose father is named Fergus, is the first to be born at the famous harborside zoo in four years.

A pygmy hippopotamus shared an adorable kiss with her mother as the calf debuted at Sydney's Taronga Zoo on Thursday.

A pygmy hippopotamus shared an adorable kiss with her mother as the calf debuted at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Thursday.

A newborn pygmy hippopotamus made its debut at Sydney's Taronga Zoo on Thursday (pictured)

A newborn pygmy hippopotamus made its debut at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Thursday (pictured)

Zoo director Simon Duffy says the baby hippopotamus looks like a tiny watermelon on tiny little legs.

“They are very beautiful,” he said.

The arrival of the dwarves is an important milestone for conservation efforts to protect Chief ranger Rina Moss said the species is endangered in West Africa.

“There are less than 3,000 of them in the wild, so every zoo birth is very valuable to help strengthen this group to ensure that species are not lost together,” she said.

The little hippo had spent the past two weeks in an out-of-show nursery den, learning to walk and swim under her mother’s watchful eye.

Watching her graduate at the Big Show was exciting for Mrs. Moss – who says the calf was initially reluctant to go to the pool, but eventually took the lead with a little encouragement from his mother.

Born to mum Camberi and dad Fergus, the pygmy hippopotamus is the first at the zoo in four years

Born to mum Camberi and dad Fergus, the pygmy hippopotamus is the first at the zoo in four years

“As the calf masters the art of swimming and becomes more confident in and out of the water, we will begin to increase the depth of the pool and remove some child protection,” she said.

The pint-sized calf is still unnamed and zookeepers are asking the public for help.

Options suggested by her breeders include Amara, which means “full of beauty and grace” and is of West African descent; Sierra Leone after the country of Sierra Leone; Sabo after Sabo National Park in Sinoe County, Liberia.

Baby hippo have spent the past two weeks in a nursery den outside the fair, learning to walk and swim

Baby hippo have spent the past two weeks in a nursery den outside the fair, learning to walk and swim

Taronga Zoo is appealing to members of the public to help name the young calf

Taronga Zoo is appealing to members of the public to help name the young calf

Members of the public can submit their own suggestions through the zoo’s website.

Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa and are generally solitary animals, gathering only to breed.

It is estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 pygmy hippos survive in the wild – classifying the species as critically endangered, with numbers continuing to decline in the wild.

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