Pygmy hippo mother and baby in murky water.

Pygmy Hippopotamus

At A Glance

  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Location: Lost Forest
  • ZOO ZONE: Lost Forest

    At first glance, the pygmy hippo looks like a mini version of its larger relative, the river or common hippopotamus. But the pygmy hippo is much less aquatic than its cousin, its toes are less webbed, and its legs are longer. The pygmy hippo's teeth are also different: it only has one pair of incisors, while the hippo has two or three. The pint-sized pygmy hippos can be found just off Treetops Way in Lost Forest. They share their home with Wolf’s monkeys that zip from branch to branch and sometimes share a sandy spot on the beach with our hippos. They don’t seem to mind when a monkey roommate hops on their back for a ride! At night, the monkeys go into their bedrooms, and the pygmy hippos get free rein of the exhibit area, since they are largely nocturnal and enjoy roaming and resting under the stars.

    Last month, after days of anticipation, Mabel, a 4-year-old pygmy hippopotamus at the San Diego Zoo, gave birth to her first calf. The male pygmy hippo calf was born just before 9 a.m. on April 9, and weighed 12.4 pounds. This is the first successful pygmy hippo birth at the Zoo in more than 30 years.



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