First look at the adorable mini hippo after new baby arrives at Edinburgh Zoo
The endangered little pygmy hippo was born during confinement on April 17 and is a new addition to the family for parents Otto and Gloria.
The calf, a female, has not yet been named.
Visitors to the Scotland Zoo and beyond will be able to spot the youngster in the coming days as it gradually reopens to the public.
Jonny Appleyard, hoofstock team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Our new arrival is doing really well and getting stronger and more confident every day.
“Since she is still so young, we are limiting the hours of operation and the number of visitors to our indoor viewing area to give the calf and mum Gloria some time to get used to the visitors.
“The first 30 days are crucial for her development, so we will be watching them closely at this delicate time and plan to name her in the coming weeks.”
Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa, where populations are declining rapidly due to habitat destruction caused by logging, agriculture, and human settlement, among other threats.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), owner of Edinburgh Zoo, is working to help preserve the species.
Support includes the publication of the very first genomic study of pygmy hippos through research in the RZSS WildGenes laboratory.
They live in dense forests near rivers and streams. They are good swimmers and have muscular valves that close their ears and nostrils when submerged.
As the name suggests, the pygmy hippo is much smaller than the common hippo.
Although they are herbivores, they have large, extremely sharp teeth that they use for protection.
Hippos lose a lot of moisture through their skin and have to spend a lot of their time
In the wild, baby hippos will spend the first few weeks of their lives hiding in the bushes because they cannot walk very far.
Calves instinctively do not know how to swim when they are born, so their mothers must teach them.
The mothers defend the calves aggressively and will stay together for at least two years.
After reopening to local visitors earlier this year, Edinburgh Zoo was able to once again welcome people from across the UK and reopen indoor spaces on April 26.
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A wide range of security measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of covid-19, including restrictions on the number of visitors and the requirement to book tickets in advance.
Mr Appleyard added: “It was great to be able to welcome our wonderful visitors back to the zoo again and I hope they soon spot our little calf.
“Each visit helps take care of our amazing animals, like our pygmy hippos, and protects endangered species in Scotland and around the world.”