TORONTO – The Toronto Zoo is celebrating the birth of a rare and endangered pygmy hippopotamus.
Kindia, a 12-year-old female, gave birth to a female calf late Friday night.
The zoo says the species is endangered and there are only about 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, mostly in Liberia. Small numbers also found in neighbouring Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.
Over the past 100 years, the pygmy hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically due to logging, farming and human settlement.
While the calf appears healthy and is feeding well, the zoo says the first 30 days are critical for both mother and calf.
Kindia arrived at the Toronto Zoo from a zoo in France in June 2016 as part of a global breeding program. This is Kindia’s first surviving calf and the seventh birth of a pygmy hippopotamus in the Toronto Zoo’s history.