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Toronto Zoo’s Pygmy Hippo Calf Needs a Name


The Toronto Zoo’s endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus calf made her public debut on September 19 in the Zoo’s African Rainforest Pavilion!

Twelve-year-old mom, Kindia, gave birth to the female calf on August 10. The pair will be on exhibit daily from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. However, this schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the Pygmy Hippo Maternity Area for feeding and to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to closely monitor her progress.

The Toronto Zoo launched their “Name Our Pygmy Hippopotamus Calf” promotion on Friday, September 21, 2018! The Zoo is asking the public to vote for their favourite name from a group of four names that have been thoughtfully selected by her Wildlife Care keeping staff.

You can cast your vote here: Voting ends Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm, and the name receiving the most votes will be announced as the winner on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

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Please cast your vote here:   / Photo Credits: Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is celebrating this recent birth as very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation. The species (Choeropsis liberiensis) is currently listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and there are approximately only 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, with Liberia having the majority of the population. Small numbers are also found in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Over the past 100 years, the Pygmy Hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo's mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet.

The Toronto Zoo is in a great position to bring forward the plight of the Pygmy Hippopotamus and supports Hippopotamus conservation efforts in the wild through keeper awareness events and the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.