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Baby Pygmy Hippo at the Marwell Park Zoo

With less than 3,000 in the wild, pygmy hippos are highly endangered. By breeding babies like this little girl, conservationists hope to help save the species from extinction. The public is invited to help pick a name for her on the Marwell Zoological Park website. Options include Loko, Kadina, Zimmi and Lola.

Baby pygmy hippo marwell zoo

Photo credit: Solent News and Photo Agency

Baby pygmy hippo marwell zoo with mom2

Photo credit: Solent News and Photo Agency

Pygym hippo baby marwell zoo with mom

8 December 2008

Rare baby pygmy hippo takes first steps at Marwell Zoological Park

Marwell Zoological Park is celebrating the birth of a pygmy hippopotamus by asking the general public to help name her. Born three weeks ago as part of a conservation breeding programme to help save the species from extinction, keepers are inviting people to select a name for the baby hippo from a shortlist of four: Loko, Kadina, Zimmi and Lola, to vote visit Marwell’s website: 

Pygmy hippopotamus are related to their larger cousin the common hippo but are, as the name suggests, much smaller. Marwell’s baby pygmy hippo now weighs around 10 kilos (22 pounds) and has already formed a strong bond with her mum Wendy, spending many hours swimming together in their pool.

With less than 3000 in the wild, Marwell’s latest arrival is a vital addition to this rare and endangered species. The pygmy hippo’s natural habitat in west Africa has been increasingly logged and farmed over the last 100 years, with large areas of their natural habitat being lost in last 30 years. Their numbers have steadily declined and the species is now listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. If their natural habitat continues to decline their future is uncertain: the population is likely to continue to decline by 20% over the course of the next 20 years.

Her keepers have already short listed four names after places in the pygmy hippo native home in west Africa. The names to choose from are:

Loko. Port Loko is the capital and largest city of Port Loko District, in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. Port Loko lies on Port Loko Creek, which flows into the Sierra Leone river.

Kadina. Kadina is a city in eastern Sierra Leone

Zimmi. Zimmi is a town located in southern Sierra Leone


Lola.  Lola is a town in the Forest Region of Guinea. It is located near



, the highest peak in the nation. It is known for traditional medicine, cloth manufacture and is also home to the African grey parrot.

To vote log onto Marwell’s website, Voting closes on Friday 12th December 2008.