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Your morning adorable: Rare pygmy hippopotamus born in Swedish zoo

March 10, 2011 | 11:52 am

PygmyHippoBaby1

At the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden, the birth of a rare pygmy hippopotamus is a big deal. The baby, a male named Oliver, was born Feb. 15 to mother Krakunia.

As a newborn, Oliver had a bit of a close call because Krakunia, a first-time mother, didn't allow him to nurse. Parken Zoo staff found an interesting way around this problem, as the Telegraph explains:

So desperate were the zookeepers to keep Oliver alive that eventually one of them managed to milk Krakunia, thus allowing them to feed the youngster by hand.

According to the zookeepers, milking a hippopotamus was a world first. Since hippos are large, potentially dangerous animals -- even when pygmy-sized -- they have until now been considered far too dangerous to milk.

Now that's a dedicated zookeeper. Since then, Oliver has been sticking close to Krakunia, and the zoo says he's now thriving.

Pygmy hippos, which were classified as endangered in 2006, are native to parts of western Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Fewer than 3,000 members of the species are thought to remain in the wild.

See more photos and video of Oliver after the jump!

Baby pygmy hippo at the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden

Baby pygmy hippo at the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden

Baby pygmy hippo at the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden

MORE CUTE HIPPOS:
Your morning adorable: Pygmy hippopotamus born at Zoo Miami
Your morning adorable: Baby pygmy hippopotamus is born in Polish zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

1st, 3rd, 4th photos: European Pressphoto Agency
2nd photo: Reuters
Video: Telegraph

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