A male pygmy hippopotamus calf, born on February 22, is now on display at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s Lied Jungle.
The calf is currently on display with the dam, Chomel, a 13-year-old hippo from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. The sire is Scooby, a 22-year-old from Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, who has been at Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium since 1992.
Pygmy hippos can weigh between eight to 12 pounds at birth. Full grown, males can weigh up to 700 pounds and females up to 500 pounds. The pygmy hippo calf currently weighs 50 pounds.
Pygmy hippos are native to rainforests and swamplands in western Africa, primarily Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. They are considered solitary animals and spend about six hours a day foraging for food. Their preferred diet consists of ferns and broad-leaved plants, but are known to uproot other swamp plants and graze on forest weeds.
Pygmy hippos are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. There are currently 27 individuals at 13 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions.