Baby hippo born at US zoo

’50s child star Gayla Peevy’s plea for a “Christmas hippopotamus” has come true for a Virginia zoo.

Metro Richmond Zoo welcomed the birth of a pygmy hippo for Christmas, according to a December 22 press release from the zoo.

The statement said the adorable baby was born on December 6. The unnamed baby was born to parents Iris and Corwin after seven months of pregnancy.

According to the zoo, this is the second dwarf hippo to be born in Virginia. And she is growing rapidly. She weighed 16 pounds at birth and a week later was 24.2 pounds. As an adult, she can weigh up to 600 pounds.

The zoo describes Iris as “an experienced and caring mother of her children.” The mother and baby are currently in a private “super cozy room with a hay bed”. But guests will soon be able to spot the new addition as the pair move into the indoor pool area, the zoo said.

Pygmy hippos are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are less than 2,500 adult pygmy hippos left in the wild in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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