After anxiously waiting throughout the month of November, Zsa Zsa the zoo’s endangered pygmy hippo has finally given birth just in time for the holiday season and her newborn is the cutest thing ever!
The bundle of joy was born on December 1st and weighs a whopping nine pounds — although hippos can eventually get to be up to 600 pounds, so there’s certainly a lot of room to grow.
Since pygmy hippos are a protected species, this birth gives us all even more of a reason to celebrate. According to the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Pygmy hippopotamus is listed as an endangered species in its natural environment with less than 3,000 left in the wild.
“Pygmy hippos are elusive and extremely rare in the wild with only a few thousand thought to be left in the world,” says General Curator, Christ Massaro. “We’re one of only 13 zoos in the United States to care for this elusive and unique species so this birth is especially important for us, and the entire pygmy hippo population.”
The adorable hippo never leaves mom’s side, no matter where it goes — and though the calf still young, it’s already running and swimming like a pro.
The Zoo is planning to announce the gender of the baby hippo with a special gender reveal and more news on the name of the calf will be released within the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can see the calf in its habitat at the zoo in the Ituri Forest located in Safari Africa and follow along on social media.