Animals

Florida Zoo Got A Baby Pygmy Hippopotamus For Christmas

Don't you just want to give it a squeeze?

If you’ve been singing about wanting a hippopotamus for Christmas, your gift arrived early this year! On Dec. 1, a pygmy hippo named Zsa Zsa at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo gave birth to a healthy baby.

Just like the song goes, sometimes only a hippopotamus will do! This one is pretty cute. See for yourself with the first photos shared on Instagram:

Baby Steps

On Tuesday, the newborn pygmy hippo made its public debut and some very lucky zoo visitors were the first to see its big day out. With wobbly legs, the four-day-old explored its habitat. The little cutie followed its mom to a shallow pool and went for a dip. “They’re born to swim,” Chris Massaro, curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, told Fox13 News.

Zsa Zsa remained close to her baby on their first outing. According to Massaro, the newborn is healthy and doing well. Zoo handlers don’t know the gender yet so they have not given the baby a name.

It has been a good year for baby hippos! First, we fell in love with Fiona the Nile hippo and now we have this adorable pygmy. The new baby is an exciting addition to the zoo, as pygmy hippos are very rare. “Pygmy hippos are elusive and extremely rare in the wild with only a few thousand thought to be left in the world,” Massaro shared on the Lowry Park Zoo blog.

Lowry Park Zoo works with other zoos on the Species Survival Program. “We’re one of only 13 zoos in the United States to care for this elusive and unique species so this birth is especially important for us, and the entire pygmy hippo population,” said Massaro. There are 32 pygmy hippos in the program, according to People.com. The newest baby is the fourth pygmy hippo to be born at Lowry Park Zoo.

The zoo has a hippo gender reveal and name announcement in the works, so stay tuned for more cuteness soon!