For the first time in thirty years, an endangered pygmy hippo has been born at San Diego Zoo - and the internet is excited.
Last month, the world just got a whole lot better.
On April 17th, San Diego Zoo welcomed the birth of an endangered pygmy hippo, officially putting an end to their thirty-year wait for a new arrival of the species.
It is truly remarkable news...
via: GettyBecause, over the last few years, the numbers of pygmy hippos in the wild have been dwindling.
As of 2010, the species has been listed as endangered.
via: GettyPygmy hippos, who are known for being the miniature versions of their much larger relatives, have become endangered as a result of - you guessed it - human activity.
For decades, their natural habitats have been gradually destroyed.
via: GettyThese hippos are native to 4 countries across West Africa - Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone - but the forests that shelter them have been cut down or burned away, and the rivers in which they swim are now heavily polluted.
They have also been mercilessly hunted.
via: GettyPygmy hippos have long fallen under the trap of hunters and poachers, who slaughter the defenseless animals for their meat.
It is one of the more devastating side-effects of our impact on the planet...
via: GettyAnd, today, it is estimated that as little as 2000 of these small hippos remain in the wild.
We have single-handedly driven these poor animals to the brink of extinction...
via: GettySo it is our responsibility to bring their numbers back to life.
A tremendous amount of conservation work has been put into the species over the years.
via: GettyThankfully, pygmy hippos have adapted well to life in conservation, and around 350 are currently estimated to reside world-wide.
But, for one zoo, breeding these animals has proven to be a little tricky.
via: GettySan Diego Zoo welcomed their first pygmy hippo, Tiny, in 1941. Over the next couple of decades, the zoo would become home to several more of the hippos, but it took them until 1970 to welcome the birth of their first pygmy, Holly.
Over the years, the zoo has had thirteen pygmy hippo births...
via: GettyBut, for the last thirty years, they have experienced a drought in their breeding efforts.
The hippos just haven't been in the mood for it...
via: GettyAnd, despite the zoo's valiant efforts, they just couldn't get them to reproduce. Hey, if they're not in the mood, they're not in the mood... right?
It's been an incredibly dry period for these unmotivated hippos...
via: GettyBut, last month, all of that changed.
San Diego have finally welcomed a baby pygmy hippo...
And, my goodness, she is adorable.
Here she is!
via: San Diego Zoo
And, going by how cute she is, she was well worth the wait.
Jonny Appleyard, the zoo's hoofstock team leader, said, "Our new arrival is doing really well and is growing stronger and more confident every day."
via: San Diego Zoo
"As she is still so young, we are limiting opening hours and numbers in our indoor viewing area to give the calf and mum Gloria some time to get used to visitors."
"The first 30 days are critical for her development, so we'll be keeping a close eye on them both at this sensitive time and plan to name her in the coming weeks."
We want to go visit her!
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