Rare baby pygmy hippo born at central Florida zoo

TAMPA, Fla. (WSVN) — A central Florida zoo got an early Christmas present: a rare baby pygmy hippo!

The baby was born at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo on Dec. 1, weighing about 9 pounds, according to Fox 13. Just a few days after being born, the baby ventured out into its habitat for the first time, and even went for dip in the water.

“They’re born to swim,” said Chris Massaro, curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.

The little one closely followed mom Zsa Zsa on its wobbly legs, and Massaro says the pair will eventually even nurse under water.

The new bundle of joy is the fourth pygmy hippo birth at the zoo, which is working with other zoos across the country to help preserve the rare species. There are only about 3,000 pygmy hippos still in the wild.

Zoo officials say they do not know yet whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but will hold a gender reveal when the time comes.

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