Melbourne Zoo‘s baby pygmy hippopotamus – the first to be born at the zoo since 1981 – had his first swim in a deep water pool this week and the sight was cuter than those miniature pigs in teacups.
Three-week-old Obi, which translates as “heart” in Igob, a regional language from Nigeria, frolicked in the water under the watchful eye of his mother.
It was an an important milestone for the baby hippo as the animals can spend up to 16 hours per day submerged in water.
Pygmy Hippos are classified as endangered in the wild, with just 2,000 thought to remain, however, due to their dense rainforest habitat their exact population size is unknown.
Native to West Africa, most are thought to be in Liberia, with smaller numbers in of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.
While Obi weighs only 13 kilograms, he will eventually grow to a quarter of the size of a full-sized hippopotamus, at about 70-80 centimetres in height, and live for 30 to 50 years.
Here’s Obi in action.
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