One of the world’s most endangered animals gave birth at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo.
The male pygmy hippopotamus (or small hippopotamus) calf was “Immediately so bright, strong and aware, and was holding his head up right away,” the zoo said.
Watch the adorable calf take his first steps and enjoy his first moments with mom:
For Cleopatra, the mother hippo, this is a momentous achievement as her last two pregnancies resulted in still born births.
The pygmy hippo is only half as tall as their well-known hippopotamus cousins and weighs less than a quarter of their size.
Pygmy hippos are shy and nocturnal in nature so are hard to count, but it is believed that there are only 2,500 left in the world.
They natural habitat is the West African rainforests, Sierra Leone, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Liberia.
The biggest threat pygmy hippos face is the shirking of their habitat by human behavior such as logging, farming, mining and human settlement, hunting and war.
As a result, zoos across the world started the Pygmy Hippo Species Survival Plan (SSP) where they each contribute to increase the population of these beautiful creatures.
Unlike their cousins, pygmy hippos live solitary lives, and tend to ignore each other if they come across one another.
A couple, or a mother or calf, may live together for a period of time, before each go their own way.
The staff at the zoo should be proud of their work.
“Each new birth contributes to the continued survival of this endangered species, and we are thrilled by this success.” Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Vice President of Animal Health and Conservation
“This is the result of years of teamwork and commitment, and I am incredibly proud of the Zoo team.” Dr Baitchman added.