Pygmy hippo: Not only cute, but extremely important

A newborn pygmy hippo stands next to his mother Lizzie in their pen, at the Attica Zoological Park near Athens, Greece, February 27, 2024. [Stelios Misinas/Reuters]

The birth of a male pygmy hippopotamus at Athens' Attica Zoological Park on feb. 19 was viewed as an important development for the survival of its species. The hippo belongs to one of the rarest and most endangered species. It is estimated that only 2,000 - 2,500 live in the wild and more specifically in the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Their main characteristic, as evidenced by their name, is their size. It is five times smaller and 10 times lighter than ordinary hippos, while they also have a smaller upper jaw.

This particular hippopotamus - still unnamed - has now reached 18 kilograms. The experts who monitor its health say that they are particularly happy with his development, adding that the fact that it is a boy is a positive development. 

"The ratio of female to male pygmy hippos in zoos is 7 to 1, so you understand that the birth of a boy is...

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