Baby pygmy hippo is faring well in spite of abandonment by mom

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 15:56 EDT
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Harry the baby pygmy hippo
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“Harry” the pygmy hippopotamus was born in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 23 at a wildlife center in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Sadly, his mother refused to nurse him.

According to zookeepers, the first 36 hours of a hippo’s life are among its most important. Hippo mothers’ milk contains vital colostrum, the protein-rich milk produced my mother mammals at childbirth, which a baby hippo needs in order to form proper immunities.

Fearing for his life, the staff at the wildlife center made a decision to pull Harry from his mother after several hours passed without her attempting to suckle him. Now, with care from veterinarians and staff, the baby hippo is healthy and strong and beginning to thrive.

He was named Harry after Prince Harry of England, who is passionate about causes related to the continent of Africa, its people and its wildlife.

Pygmy hippos are extremely rare. There are currently only 16 of them in the country of South Africa.

Watch this video, embedded via The Guardian, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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