Page 21

Lowry Park Zoo got a baby Pygmy Hippopotamus for Christmas

by Lee Ann Rottman

This past December, The Lowry Park Zoo was blessed with an adorable baby pygmy hippo and later they revealed that this little miracle is a baby girl. Mom Zsa Zsa and calf are doing great—the baby girl has grown from the size of a loaf of bread to the size of a plump little watermelon. She also has gained confidence and will now run into the pool by herself. She is keeping her mom busy with her rambunctious ways but Zsa Zsa is an experienced mom and seems to take it all in stride.

Coupon not valid with any other offer, one per visit. Expires 2/28/18. Good at St Petersburg loca�on only.

www.gulfcoastfamily.org

As the VP of Conservation, I have been asked a lot lately why is this birth significant. When there is an adorable baby in front of you, it is often hard to think about her wild ancestors and what her birth means on a bigger scale for both the Zoo and her species. Let me start by saying, Pygmy hippos are both rare and unique. Pygmy hippos are found in interior forests of West Africa including the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. As a shy reclusive species little is known about their habits in the

Coupon not valid with any other offer, one per visit. Expires 2/28/18. Good at St Petersburg loca�on only.

wild. It is estimated that only around 3,000 are left in the wild and due to rapid habitat loss this species is now considered endangered. So what does this mean? With such a small surviving population, steps are needed to help protect this species from vanishing. Researchers in Africa are working hard to learn more about pygmy hippo behavior while also working with the local communities within and around its range to help

protect this valuable species and habitat. At the Zoo, our pygmy hippos are part of a Species Survival Plan that works to preserve this species in zoos and aquariums while also bringing awareness to the conservation needs of this species in the wild.

Coupon not valid with any other offer, one per visit. Expires 2/28/18. Good at St Petersburg loca�on only.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

January 2018 • 21

Gulf Coast Family - January 2018  
Gulf Coast Family - January 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...