Taronga Zoo Sydney is thrilled to announce the public debut of a rare Pygmy Hippo calf who made her first big splash today under the watchful eye of her mother and keepers. To celebrate, Taronga is calling on the public to help name the adorable new arrival!
The pint-sized calf was born just over two weeks ago and joins a number of new additions these summer school holidays at Taronga Zoo Sydney.
Senior Ungulate Keeper Renae Moss said: “Over the past couple of days we have given mum and the calf supervised access to their main exhibit, where, we watched on as she explored her surroundings and took her very first swim in the big pool. Everything went swimmingly! It was such a privilege to watch and cheer along the sideline” says Moss.
“Like most newborns, the calf was a little hesitant at first and took her time going into the pool, however, after a little encouragement from mum, became more confident,” says Moss.
“Over the next couple of days, as the calf masters the art of swimming and becomes more confident in and out of the water, we will begin to increase the depth of the pool and remove some baby proofing within the exhibit like fencing,” says Moss.
“We are really happy with the progress of the calf. Kambiri is a great mother and has been very maternal and protective which is exactly what we want. As the calf grows in confidence and in size she will become more and more active, so we cannot wait for our guests to come and meet her these summer school holidays” says Moss.
Taronga Zoo is asking for help from the public to choose a fitting name for the new arrival from three suggestions provided by her keepers. These include:
Amara, which means ‘filled with beauty and grace’ and is of West African origin
Sierra after the country of Sierra Leone
Sapo after Sapo National Park located in Sinoe County, Liberia.
The entries with the most meaningful reason behind their name selection will win one of 20 family passes to Taronga Zoo Sydney valued at $152. For more information, how to enter and T&C’s simply visit: www.taronga.org.au/pygmyhippocomp
The calf and her mum Kambiri can now be seen throughout the day at Taronga Zoo’s Pygmy Hippo exhibit which is located on the Rainforest Trail. The best time for guests to catch a glimpse of the pint-sized calf is just after the Zoo opens.
Pygmy Hippos are native to forests and swamps of West Africa including the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. There is estimated to be between 2000-3000 Pygmy Hippos remaining in the wild – classifying the species as endangered.
Wild Pygmy Hippo populations continue to decline in the wild due to several reasons, but the leading decline is habitat loss, as their forest and jungle homes are often being logged and converted into farmland. However, wild populations are also heavily impacted by human-animal conflict and poaching.
Get your tickets now at www.taronga.org.au/buy-tickets or why not sign up to Taronga’s new Zoo Friends Family-Flex membership. This membership gives big and little kids the opportunity to visit 365 days a year and get to know all our newest arrivals including five adorable Lion cubs. You can also keep up to date with what’s new in the Zoo by tuning in to tarongatv.com for the latest updates and animal antics.