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Hippo-horray – Pygmy Hippo Calf Born at Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Sydney are celebrating World Hippo Day with a huge announcement of the birth and public debut of a four-week-old female Pygmy Hippopotamus calf born to Australasia’s only breeding pair, Kambiri and Fergus.

The female calf was born at 3:05am on 16 January 2024 weighing 4kg. Since the birth, 13-year-old experienced mum Kambiri and the calf have been bonding in the behind-the-scenes nursery at Taronga Zoo.


“Kambiri and the calf have been hitting all milestones we hope to observe - suckling, swimming, and growing daily. Born at a tiny 4kgs, the little calf is now weighing in at just under 20kg,” explained Senior Ungulate Keeper Renae Moss.

Taronga Zoo staff involved in the preparation for this welcome birth voted on the little calf’s name.  Taking out the honours, is ‘Lololi’ (pronounced Lol-ol-i), a West African name meaning ‘there is always love’.


Pygmy Hippos are listed as endangered, with an estimated population of less than 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild. Found only in small populations in West African lowland forest and wetland habitats, their population is unfortunately decreasing. Due to habitat loss for logging, mining and agriculture, conflict with humans has increased as habitat is reduced, putting the animals at higher risk of hunting and encroachment.

Guests to Taronga Zoo have the best chances of spotting little Lololi and Kambiri in the morning when the pair are most active exploring their outdoor habitat.

“Just like all newborns, Lololi often falls asleep whilst suckling and attempting to climb on mum Kambiri after playing in the pool.”

“Kambiri is very attentive to Lololi, especially while she explores the outdoor habitat and familiarises herself with the increasing depths of the pool,” said Keeper Renae.

World Hippo Day is celebrated annually on 15 February and aims to raise awareness of the two species of Hippo – the Pygmy Hippo which can be observed at Taronga Zoo Sydney and the Common Hippo, home to Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

Pygmy Hippos are a solitary, mainly nocturnal, semi-aquatic mammal. Kambiri and Lololi can be seen together in the zoo’s outdoor habitat closest to the Binturongs, whilst dad Fergus is often spotted snoozing in the pool or sun, in between the zoo’s Asian Small-clawed Otters and Fishing Cats.

A great day out at Taronga has the power to protect. Taronga is not-for-profit, so every visit, donation, stay, shop, or gift purchase, you are saving wildlife.  

Taronga Zoo Sydney is open daily, from 9:30am-5:00pm. Admission tickets can be upgraded to 365 days of adventures with a Zoo Friends membership. For more information about planning a visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney or to purchase your tickets online for up to 20% off, visit