Zoo keepers at Melbourne Zoo have excitedly welcomed the birth of a baby pygmy hippopotamus last week – the first to have been born at the zoo for over 33 years.
Born to mother Petre on the afternoon of Monday 25th May, the male calf’s birth was a complete success, with no complications or health concerns. The calf weighed in at around 5kg, within the healthy weight range for a calf of 3-6kg. Although it is Petre’s fourth calf, this one is the first calf she has given birth to in Melbourne Zoo, as she was brought to the zoo from Taronga Zoo in 2012.
Justin Valentine, the zoo’s wild sea precinct manager, said that Petre had been attentive and gentle with the calf, and that the zoo had given them time to bond as mother and calf, though they have been monitoring the pair 24 hours a day on CCTV for their safety. He added that the calf has been feeding well, successfully suckling from its mother, and shortly, he will be slowly introduced to water, as baby pygmy hippos can typically swim from birth.
As the calf is doing so well in its progress, it is expected that visitors will be able to see the calf within the next couple of weeks.
Adult pygmy hippopotamuses, when fully grown, can reach around 70-80cm in height, and tend to weigh around 250kg, which is about a quarter of the size of a full-sized hippo.
Watch the video below to see more of the baby pygmy hippo bonding with his mother:
If you’d like to meet the baby pygmy hippopotamus and the other animals at Melbourne Zoo, join us for our unforgettable Distant Journeys Australia touring holidays, which include Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Alice Springs and Adelaide tours.
The organisation and communication were first class. The flexibility in travelling to the destination was impressive and the hotels where we stayed in were all of a good standard. Our Coach was driven by Ken, who was a character and nothing was too much for him.
Mr & Mrs Hall, Magnificent New Zealand
We both enjoyed the Magnificent New Zealand holiday immensely. The Coach Driver/Tour Guide was excellent and the hotels were really comfortable. The holiday was extremely good value and I would recommend it to anyone waning to taste the Antipodean holiday experience.
If you are interested in a touring holiday to Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, please fill in the details below and click ‘submit’. Your free brochure will then either be sent by 1st class post or your download will begin.
Six films that made destinations in Australia famous
Stunning landscapes and remarkable city views are commonplace in Australia. So, it’s no surprise tha.. Find Out More >
Introducing Rooibos Tea, South Africa’s traditional cup!
Your dream tour of South Africa would not be complete without a taste of the famous African red bush.. Find Out More >