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Your morning adorable: Pygmy hippopotamus born at Zoo Miami

November 24, 2010 | 11:58 am

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At Florida's Zoo Miami, the recent birth of a pygmy hippopotamus is cause for big excitement.

The baby, a female, is the first of her species to be born at the zoo in more than two decades and the first offspring for 18-year-old mother Kelsey. "It is testimony that the zoo is doing all of the right things in order to make this normally shy animal comfortable enough to reproduce successfully and to be a great mother," Ron Magill, the zoo's communications director, said in a statement.

Pygmy hippos, like the more familiar Nile hippos, are native to parts of Africa, but pygmy hippos' range is much smaller than that of their larger cousins. Their habitat includes parts of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast, and it's believed that fewer than 3,000 of them remain in the wild.

Zoo Miami is asking members of the public to help name the new baby by voting for their favorite name in an online poll. Name choices are Nzuri (Swahili for "beautiful"), Nyumbani ("home"), Leona (a play on Sierra Leone) and Asali ("honey," a tribute to another Zoo Miami hippo who died last year).

See another photo of mother and baby after the jump!

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RELATED CUTE HIPPOS:
Your morning adorable: Baby pygmy hippopotamus is born in Polish zoo
Baby hippo makes a big entrance at the Berlin Zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photos: Miami Herald / McClatchy Tribune News Service

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