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    Posted on Jan 16, 2015

    These Pictures Of A Newborn Pygmy Hippo Will Lighten Even The Darkest Of Days

    It's his ears that do it.

    On Boxing Day, this baby pygmy hippo entered the world.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    The male calf weighed just 7kg when it born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Zookeepers were particularly proud of the mother, Flora, as she had been battling cancer.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Flora had been living with a tumour in her mouth but "responded fantastically" to treatment, the zoo said.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    Senior keeper Steve White said: “Flora’s calf was due on Christmas Day, but the little one kept us waiting until the evening of Boxing Day."

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    "We knew Flora must be going into labour because she went off her food – which never happens."

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    White revealed that Flora went into labour for six hours before giving birth to the healthy, as yet unnamed, male calf.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    "Since then, the baby hippo has been happily waddling around and seems to love spending time in water," he added.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    "On his first weigh-in, he was so slippery it was like picking up a big bar of soap."

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    The zoo said Flora would now be retired from breeding after contributing three calves to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme.

    ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

    The Boxing Day calf has been heralded as a welcome addition as there is a shortage of male hippos in the programme.

    Pygmy hippos are classified as endangered, and according to the BBC there are only a couple of thousand left in their native West Africa.

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