Viewing hours: 9:30 am to 3:00 pm daily*
Pygmy Hippopotamus Calf Diaries
December 23, 2018:
Keepers give Penelope and mom, Kindia a special dracaena wreath filled with melons as a special Christmas enrichment.
December 11, 2018
Although Penelope still doesn’t fully consume food such as these hay pellets, she continues to mouth them. Keepers now cut and separate smaller pieces specifically for her, while mom Kindia has larger portions so no one steals the others straw, leaves or lettuce! Baby pygmy hippos typically eat soft whole foods around 6-8 weeks, but still nurse for 6-8 months.
November 10, 2018:
Although you may not see them, Penelope has teeth (she was born with her baby incisors and her teeth were visible on her day 2 checkup). Baby pygmy hippos typically eat soft whole foods around 6-8 weeks, but still nurse for 6-8 months. Penelope is slowly eating more whole foods, often munching on romaine leaves and alfalfa hay. Penelope now weighs 31kg!
November 9, 2018:
Penelope spends between 4-5 hours in her pool each day which will only increase as she gets older! She will slowly start to spend more time underwater and in longer increments. Adult pygmy hippos can hold their breath underwater for over five minutes!
October 20, 2018
October 4, 2018
From September 21st to October 2nd, the public was invited to vote to help name our pygmy hippo calf.
After over 10,000 votes, Penelope was the winner!
September 29, 2018
Go underwater with our pygmy hippo calf and mom Kinda!
Did you know hippos don’t technically swim? They propel themselves underwater using their legs to propel themselves forward. Their high body fat also assists with their buoyancy. Our baby pygmy calf is quite the avid “propellor”, and loves the water!
September 27, 2018
Watch as our baby pygmy calf plays with mom Kindia in their pool! She is mouthing mom to play but also “act tough”. Keepers say at times she can be very sassy
September 20, 2018
Our baby pygmy hippo has mouthed food for quite some time now, however, Keepers are now observing her now ingesting small pellets of mom Kindia’s food. They even witnessed her take a tiny bite out of mom’s zucchini slice! She now weighs 18.9 kg.
You can now visit her and mom Kindia daily from 9:30am to 3:00pm in the African Rainforest Pavilion. Please note this schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the Pygmy Hippo Maternity Area for feeding and to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to monitor her progress.
September 19, 2018
Our baby pygmy hippo is now viewable to the public! You can visit her and mom Kindia in the African Rainforest pavilion from 9:30am to 3:00pm daily*.
*Please note this schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the Pygmy Hippo Maternity Area for feeding and to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to closely monitor her progress.
September 8, 2018
Presenting: the playful ‘potamus.
Our calf has started to mimic mom Kindia by mouthing her food, including alfalfa hay as you can see in the video below. Pygmy hippos will start eating solid foods at ~ 2 to 4 months of age and they are weaned at 6 to 8 months.
September 4, 2018
Watch as our baby pygmy hippo continues to nurse from mom Kindia, who continues to be a great mom. Kindia will nurse her baby either standing up or lying down, whatever is most comfortable for them both at the time. Pygmy hippo calves are weaned at about 6-8 months and start eating solid foods at around 2-4 months of age. As of yesterday (September 3), she weighed 13.7kg
August 30, 2018
Scrub a dub dub, our baby pygmy hippo is in the tub!
Our pygmy calf is given a bath every morning and she loves it. The Keepers observe her rolling over in the bath and even blowing bubbles! She also likes to be misted with water.
These baths are to get her used to water and swimming, but also for her to get clean. The Keepers also leave a black rubber bowl in their indoor habitat with a few inches of water in it for her to enjoy throughout the day so she has access to water when she chooses.
She currently gets weighed every other day, and as of yesterday (Wednesday, August 29th), she weighed 11.6kg
August 29, 2018
Watch as our pygmy hippo calf and mom Kindia have a snuggle in their mini pool. While she is still quite young, she doesn’t know how to “swim” quite yet, however, she is very curious and fond of water and Keepers often observe her climbing into her water dish for a quick dip.
August 10, 2018
On August 10, 2018, Kindia, our 12 year old pygmy hippopotamus gave birth to a female calf.
This is Kindia’s first surviving calf, and was sired by Harvey our 23-year-old male. Both mom and calf are healthy and doing well, and Wildlife Care Staff will continue to monitor her development.
This birth is very important for pygmy hippopotamus conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and there are only approximately 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, with Liberia having the majority of the population.
This is the seventh birth of a pygmy hippopotamus in Toronto Zoo's history. The last pygmy hippo to be born at the Toronto Zoo was a male named “Pogo” who was born September 2, 1999 to sire Psi and dam Cleopatra. He left the Toronto Zoo in November 2003 and now resides in Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.
Please note, Kindia and her calf are not currently visible to the public.