Cute Baby Hippo Born in Mexico
The adult hippo is a real giant animal. It's one of the heaviest terrestrial mammals and is ranked beside the rhino right after the elephant. It usually weighs 1,000 - 2,000 kg (2,200 - 4,400 lbs), extraordinarily bulky males can reach up to 3.2 t (7,000 lbs). Currently the hippo lives just in sub-Saharan Africa and its distribution is very restricted. At one time however, hippos also live in Asia and Europe. Its closest relatives are the pigs and peccaries.
Today however, there are at the most only 150,000 hippos living in the wild. Because of this they are listed in the Red List of Threatened Species as vulnerable. The highest numbers of hippos are estimated to live in Zambia (around 40,000). In contrast to the population in Zambia, the numbers in the Democratic Republic of Kongo, which was ranked second with its 29,000 hippos 30 years ago, has decreased by 95 % since that time.
Just like some other African mammal species, hippos could soon become extinct here if great care isn't taken with them. The major threat for them is unlimited hunting for meat, followed by habitat loss (wetland reclamation and water diversion) and the ivory trade from their teeth. Because of this hippos have been identified as a vulnerable species by the World Conservation Union. Breeding programs around the world, mostly in zoos, have been set up to try to keep the hippo species from further endangerment.
Recently a zoo in Chilpancingo, Mexico welcomed their latest addition - a baby hippopotamus from their breeding program. The hippo is the latest addition to Mexico's ZooChilpan animal park in Guerrero. Director Martha Elena Torres said the zoo has had great success in breeding the species.
According to Martha Elena Torres, "This small hippopotamus was born about two months ago. He is two months old. The hippos have been very willing to reproduce here. This little one already had a brother. They are born here, spend some time with us, and then they have to go."
VIDEO Baby hippo born in Mexico Zoo