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Published on Jan 3, 2014
Marwell Zoo's pygmy hippo calf 'Gloria' has taken her first swim! You can read more about the calf and other new arrivals at the zoo at http://www.marwell.org.uk Weighing in at just 6 kilos and measuring 15cm in height, Marwell Zoo's new arrival certainly lives up to the 'pygmy' name. The tiny calf is now three weeks old and is already on her feet exploring her new home. Born to 18-year-old Mum, Wendy, who lives at Marwell and Dad, Nato who stayed with Marwell in the summer, this pygmy hippo is an important addition to the European Endangered Breeding Programme (EEP). In the wild pygmy hippos are elusive animals, living in the swamps of western Africa. Pygmy hippos, and their larger cousins, the common hippopotamus, play an important part in maintaining the ecosystems of the African wetlands and the surrounding grasslands and forests. Ongoing deforestation in their natural habitat, combined with civil unrest, presents significant threats to the population of pygmy hippos. Their numbers have steadily declined and the species is now listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Marwell Wildlife is a conservation charity which conserves species and their habitats, locally and globally. The charity also operates Marwell Zoo in Hampshire which is home to over 170 species of animal.