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Virginia Zoo welcomes rare hippos for Christmas


Christmas came early for the Metro Richmond Zoo because, like the song, the organization did get a hippo. And it was rare: a pygmy hippopotamus.

Baby hippo parents Iris and Corwin gave birth to a female calf on December 6 zoo announced last week.

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The baby pygmy hippo weighed a healthy 16 pounds. One week later, she was 24.2 pounds.

Metro Richmond Zoo


The pygmy hippopotamus, which is native to West Africa, is listed as endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Fewer than 2,500 adults remain in the wild, the organization estimates.

At three days old, the unnamed calf weighed a healthy 16 pounds. A week later, she had grown to 24.2 pounds. An adult pygmy hippopotamus can weigh up to 600 pounds—a quarter as much as its larger relatives.

This is the second baby hippo to be born at the zoo and in the state of Virginia.



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