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Endangered Baby Pygmy Hippo Takes First Public Swim In Australia’s Zoo

Meet Obi, a three-week-old pygmy hippopotamus that just learned how to swim. Born to hippo mum Petre and dad Felix 3 weeks ago at the Melbourne Zoo, Obi means “heart” in Igbo, a Nigerian language. He is part of an international breeding program and will be designated to breed somewhere else with another female upon maturity.

“He loves the water and spends hours in the small pool, so he is ready for the next step,” said sea manager Justin Valentine. But “he’s only little so about 10 to 15 minutes and he’s a bit tired and he has to take a break. And then he’s back into it right away,” he added.

Pygmy hippos are endangered, although it’s difficult to know their exact numbers due to their dense rain-forest habitat.