Jan 15, 2024

First Photoshoot for Rare Male Pygmy Hippo Takes Place at Czech Zoo

A rare male pygmy hippopotamus born in a Czech zoo has taken part in his first photoshoot, to the delight of spectators.

The hippo, named Mikolas, is considered a valuable addition to conservation efforts over the endangered species.

Born in December, Mikolas has joined two female and one male in the Dvur Kralove Zoo, said Helena Hubackova, a spokeswoman for the park.

Mikolas could be seen exploring his indoor enclosure with his mother Malaya closely watching over him. Pygmy hippos are native to swamps and rainforests in western Africa. It is estimated only about 2,500 still live in the wild.

Their breeding in captivity has been complicated, particularly due to a lack of males. Only a dozen pygmy hippos were born in zoos globally last year, and not all survived.

Weighing up to 275 kilos (nearly 600lbs), the pygmy hippos are solitary and considered less dangerous than common hippos. But they can get wild at times.

A zookeeper in Dvur Kralove was seriously injured by one of the hippos in 2012 and had to be treated at an intensive care unit.


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