A young hippo at the Taronga Park Zoo in Australia has made a splash—by starring in a video of her first forays into the water. The pygmy hippopotamus, named Monifa, was born at the zoo via a difficult breach birth. Since then, she has been raised by zookeepers while her mother recovers.

Native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, pygmy hippos are an elusive, nocturnal species rarely seen in the wild. With fewer than 3,000 individuals left in the wild, the pygmy hippopotamus is considered critically endangered; the species faces threats from habitat loss, poaching, natural predators, and political instability in the region.

This vulnerability in the wild makes captive breeding programs—like the one at Taronga—essential for the survival of the species.

So, how did Monifa's first swim turn out? The eight-week-old hippo was "keen as mustard" to venture into the deep water, according to one zookeeper.

Pygmy hippos share the same general form as a hippopotamus. They have a graviportal skeleton, with four stubby legs and four toes on each foot, supporting a portly frame. The pygmy hippo, however, is only half as tall as the hippopotamus and weighs less than 1/4 as much as its larger cousin. Adult pygmy hippos stand about 75–83 cm (30–32 inches) high at the shoulder, are 150–177 cm (59–70 inches) in length and weigh 180–275 kilograms (400–600 pounds). Their lifespan in captivity ranges from 30 to 55 years, though it is unlikely that they live this long in the wild.
The greatest threat to the remaining pygmy hippopotamus population in the wild is loss of habitat. The forests in which pygmy hippos live have been subject to logging, settling and conversion to agriculture, with little efforts made to make logging sustainable. As forests shrink, the populations become more fragmented, leading to less genetic diversity in the potential mating pool. (Source - Wikipedia)


VIDEO Baby Hippo Monifa takes her first swim

Responses to "Critically Endangered Baby Pygmy Hippo Takes Her First Swim (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    AWE, Beautiful video! I am so happy Momma pygmie hippo is recovering. God Bless us all.

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