Joy in the European zoo. An endangered species has been born

Joy in the European zoo.  An endangered species has been born

Employees of the Athens Zoo confirmed the birth of a new family member. There are only 2,500 representatives of this hippopotamus species worldwide.

The Athens Zoo has a special reason to celebrate. The garden welcomed a representative of an endangered species. It is a pygmy hippopotamus, a slightly less known cousin of the mighty Nile hippopotamus. There are no more than 2,500 thousand individuals living in the wild. The employees are happy that a male was born – this provides further opportunities for breeding these animals in the future. A few years ago, the birth of a male pygmy hippopotamus was also celebrated by the Wrocław Zoo.

Birth in the zoo in Athens

“This is the first birth at the zoo in 2024 and what a birth!” – said Noi Psaroudaki, a veterinarian at Attica Zoological Park in Athens, quoted by Reuters. The new family member weighs 7 kg and does not have a name yet. This is a descendant of Lizzie and Jamal – the only pygmy hippos in this zoo. Although the birth took place over a month ago, the good news has only now been made public. The baby hippopotamus will soon be named through an online vote. Employees are especially happy about the sex of the new animal, which will give them the opportunity to breed the animals again in the future. Males of this species are very rare in captivity. “Every birth of a pygmy hippopotamus is extremely important. We are very happy to see this baby grow into a healthy adult hippopotamus.”

An extremely rare species

Pygmy hippos are a strictly protected species. It occurs naturally in Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and its population does not exceed 2,500 individuals. It is definitely smaller and lighter than its cousin, the Nile hippopotamus, which can reach an impressive weight of 3,000 kilograms. It is very difficult to find it in the wild – it is a loner, feeds mainly at night and likes to hide in the river. The birth of a baby in the Athens Zoo gives you a unique opportunity to see the entire family of this species while visiting the numerous attractions of the Greek capital.

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