Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pygmy Hippo Monifa is a Lucky Baby

LUCKY by name, lucky by nature - that's the case for Taronga Zoo's newest nursery edition, Monifa the pygmy hippo.
Born three weeks ago and unable to stand or feed herself, the piglet-sized hippo would have died within days, but for the intervention of dedicated zoo staff.
Hippo keepers Renae Zammit and Tracy Roberts have been living round-the clock with the 3.8kg infant.
The pair spent a fortnight sleeping with and hand-feeding Monifa - who's name means "I am lucky" in Nigerian.
The infant has now moved into her own pen and is ready to follow the footsteps of her father Timmy, the last pygmy hippo born at Taronga 23 years ago.
Born during the early hours of October 15, Monifa initially had to be patiently coerced into even trying to feed from a syringe. Ms Zammit and Ms Roberts spent alternate days working around the clock to keep her alive.
She has now doubled in weight and is drinking from a bowl, content to suckle the thumb of her keepers.
A delighted Ms Zammit said Monifa was already showing signs of playfulness.
"She's such an inquisitive little thing and loves bath time, she even turns somersaults in the water," she said.
The species grows to about 1m in height - almost half the size of other hippos.
There's a photo gallery here.
Zoo Shows Off Pygmy Hippo
Australia's Taronga Zoo in Sydney recently showed off its latest addition, a baby pygmy hippo. Monifa, who is only three weeks old, is currently the size of a puppy.
There are less than 3,000 pygmy hippos remaining in the world.
So Cute

No comments: