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Colchester Zoo Adds Pygmy Hippo

Calf to Their Family

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: May 18, 2020 8:25 pm

Pygmy Hippo

Photo Credit: Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo’s baby boom has continued with the birth of a pygmy hippo calf. Last week we brought you the news of twin golden lion tamarins which had been born at Colchester and you can read that story here – Colchester Zoo Welcome Twin Golden Lion Tamarins | The Animal Facts

The female pygmy hippo calf was born on May 9th to mother Venus. Since then keeper’s have weighed the calf to ensure that she is healthy.

Currently the calf is living with mum and will not meet her dad Freddie to mimic life in the wild for a pygmy hippo. Wild pygmy hippos live alone outside of the breeding season and only come together to mate. At Colchester Zoo this is matched by both mum and dad having an enclosure each.

Venus and Freddie are experienced parents having mated in the past.

Each baby pygmy hippo is exciting for this endangered species. They are found in four West African countries but their range is being shrunk by logging and farming.These threats have led to them being listed as endangered by the IUCN with just 2,500 left in the wild.

Luckily pygmy hippos have seen a baby boom in recent weeks with a calf also being announced at San Diego Zoo as we reported recently. You can meet that calf here – Pygmy Hippo Calf Born at San Diego Zoo | The Animal Facts.


San Diego Zoo’s calf has begun swimming but Colchester Zoo staff are still waiting to let their calf in the water for her first swim till she is a bit bigger.


At birth pygmy hippos weigh a mere 6.3kg (14lbs) but don’t let their name fool you. Once she is fully grown this pygmy could weigh up to 300kg (661lbs). They are still small when compared to their close relative the river hippo though. These can weigh up to ten times more.


You can learn more Colchester Zoo here – Colchester Zoo | The Animal Facts

Colchester Zoo has shared a video of the new calf below.

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