On November 27th, the Colchester Zoo welcomed its first Pygmy Hippo calf. Since then, mom and baby girl have developed a close bond. The little one has been reportedly "suckling strongly," steadily gaining weight, as evidenced below, at a healthy rate.
First Pygmy Hippo born at Colchester Zoo!
After a long wait Colchester Zoo is delighted to announce the birth of our first pygmy hippo at the Kingdom of the Wild!
Venus the pygmy hippo gave birth on the morning of Friday the 27th November to a healthy female baby! Mother and baby have been doing well and have built a tight bond with the baby suckling strongly. Keepers have been weighing the new arrival every other day to ensure she continues to grow at a healthy rate, and Venus has proven herself to be an excellent mother constantly checking to keep her baby in her sight!
Venus first came to Colchester Zoo in 2002 and was very young at just one year old. She lived separately from our male Freddy, who arrived in 2001, as they are not usually social animals and generally live alone and only come together to mate or pair up in later life.
Mixing pygmy hippos is always a very precarious matter as they can be remarkably territorial and aggressive animals, therefore, their keepers carefully worked out when Venus would be in season and most attractive to Freddy before slowly introducing them to each other.
The Pygmy Hippo is listed on Appendix II of CITES, and classified as Vulnerable on the ICUN Red List of threatened Species. The Pygmy Hippo is also part of the EEP (European Endangered Species) breeding programme, and we are thrilled that the successful birth of our Pygmy Hippo will contribute to the continued support for preserving this species.