She may be tiny, but a rare pygmy hippo is already making a big splash at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

She may be tiny, but a rare pygmy hippo is already making a big splash at Whipsnade Zoo.

Georgina the pygmy hippo and mum Flora.Born eight weeks ago the female calf, called Georgina, has been enjoying paddling around her heated indoor pool alongside her mum and exploring her new surroundings.

The youngster is the second born to parents Flora and Tapon, and comes 18 months after the birth of their son Sapo, who was the first male pygmy hippo to be born in Europe.

Africa section team leader Mark Holden said: “Like the name hippopotamus – which means water horse – suggests, Georgina enjoys taking a dip, paddling around, and blowing bubbles under the water.

Georgina relaxes in the pool.“Flora’s a star mum and is really helping the new calf to thrive.”

The new arrival is an important addition to the European Endangered Species Programme and for the conservation of this species worldwide.

Included on Zoological Society London’s Edge of Existence programme – a global conservation programme dedicated to threatened animal species that have unique evolutionary history – pygmy hippos are threatened and in the wild their numbers have dwindled to fewer than 3,000.

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