The best gifts come in small packages.
The Metro Richmond Zoo announced Friday that a baby pygmy hippopotamus was born at the zoo in western Chesterfield County on Dec. 6 — just in time for the holidays.
Congratulations are in order for the baby’s parents, Iris and Corwin. The zoo said in a news release that “Iris is an experienced mother and very caring of her baby. The calf has been nursing and is growing quickly.”
The female calf — which hasn’t been named yet (Holly or Carol only seem appropriate) — weighed in at 24.2 pounds when she was a week old. The zoo says full-grown pygmy hippos can weigh up to 600 pounds.
The calf and mom are currently in a cozy, hay-bedded enclosure that is private and off-limits to guests so that the two can bond in peace. Soon, they’ll be moved to an indoor pool, which is visible to guests.
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This is the second pygmy hippo born at a Virginia zoo. The endangered species is native to West Africa, and there are fewer than 2,500 in the wild.