The San Diego Zoo lately introduced its latest (and arguably cutest) arrival: a new child male pygmy hippo, born on April 9 to its 4-year-old pygmy hippo mama Mabel.

Inside hours of start, the very tubby teenager was standing up and following its mom round, toddling after her within the hippos’ indoor habitat, zoo representatives stated in an announcement.

The newborn, which has not but been named, weighed 12.Four lbs. (5.6 kilograms) at start and now weighs about 25 lbs. (11 kg). That is the primary profitable pygmy hippo start on the zoo in additional than three many years, providing hope for the way forward for this endangered species, in response to the assertion.

Associated: Images: World’s cutest child wild animals

Within the maternity “ward” of the hippo habitat, the calf now has entry to a pool, after first testing the waters in a shallow tub. Over the previous few weeks, the child demonstrated that it was capable of shut its nostrils and maintain its breath underwater.

As their title implies, pygmy hippos (Choeropsis liberiensis) are considerably smaller than river hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius), in response to the San Diego Zoo. Grownup pygmy hippos weigh about 350 to 600 lbs. (160 to 270 kg), whereas river hippos can weigh as much as 10 occasions extra. The heads of pygmy hippos are additionally blunter and rounder than these of their greater hippo cousins, and pygmy hippos’ eyes are situated on the perimeters of their heads relatively than on the high.

Pygmy hippos typically look shiny and slick even after they aren’t within the water, because of a pinkish fluid known as “blood sweat” that oozes from their pores and skin. This liquid acts like a moisturizing sunscreen; it retains their pores and skin from drying and cracking within the warmth and protects the hippos from sunburn, in response to the zoo.

Fewer than 2,500 pygmy hippos stay of their native habitats in West Africa, the place they stay in forest rivers in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

Mabel and her calf will stay separated from the calf’s father, a 13-year-old named Elgon, as pygmy hippos don’t usually stay collectively as households, zoo representatives stated. In a few month, the child and his mom will emerge from their seclusion within the indoor enclosure and can start taking turns with Elgon to spend time in the principle hippo habitat.

Initially revealed on Dwell Science.