Baby pygmy hippo – level 3
Meet the latest addition to Bristol Zoo. The pygmy hippo was born there three weeks ago, and according to zookeepers, the little calf is doing very well.
“We have a very protective mum here. Her name is Sirana. So she’s very protective of the calf. She doesn’t let us get all that close, but she’s doing an absolute perfect job of looking after it.”
This birth is a particularly important addition to the zoo. They are an endangered species in their natural habitat in Africa.
“And they’re facing lots of threats and are ranked 3,000 to 4,000 of them only in the wild, which is not very many compared to such a big animal, so it’s hugely important that we have a captive breeding program that can actually, you know, have a safeguard for the species and we can make sure that if their numbers continue to fall in the wild that that we do have them, in captivity, so we don’t lose all animals altogether.”
Staff aren’t 100% sure whether the calf is a girl or boy – they’re thinking it’s a boy, so we’ll come up with a name for him in the next few weeks.
Difficult words: addition (an animal added; a new animal), calf (the baby of an animal like the hippo), endangered species (a type of animal which may die out soon), habitat (the natural home of an animal), hugely (very), captive breeding program (keeping an animal at a centre for animals to make more babies of that animal), safeguard (protecting something in case something bad happens).
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