GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Say a hearty welcome to the newest resident of Greensboro!
The Greensboro Science Center announced the birth of a “precious pygmy hippo calf” that was born on Wednesday, May 24 (so, a Gemini) to parents Holly and Ralph! This is the first significant milestone in the Revolution Ridge expansion and the first pygmy hippo born at the center.
“Revolution Ridge was built with the intention of bringing awareness to endangered species and understanding why those species are so valuable to our world. Many of the animal exhibits were designed to support breeding programs and it is quite a testament that, within a little more than two years, the GSC is now home to its first pygmy hippo calf,” said Greensboro Science Center’s Chief Operating Officer Beth Hemphill.
“We knew this would be a monumental milestone if Ralph and Holly were successful,” Jessica Hoffman, the GSC’s VP of Animal Health & Welfare said. “We have been monitoring Holly’s pregnancy through the duration of her gestation, but with a first-time mom, we remained cautious. We collectively released a huge sigh of relief and cheered when we saw our adorable new calf take its first steps. Holly is proving to be a very vigilant and caring mother, and we can’t wait for our GSC community to meet this latest addition!”
Keepers worked hard to set first-time mom Holly up for success with “incredible” prenatal care with exams and ultrasounds. Holly is a bold personality, contrasting the more laid-back Ralph, so keepers are excited to see which parent the little bundle of joy favors.
The pygmy hippopotamus weighs in a lot leaner than their river hippo cousin, only reaching a scant 350 to 600 pounds versus the river hippos’ multi-ton average.
Once this little bundle of joy hits about five months old, he should be over ten times the size he was at birth!
Pygmy hippos are considered an endangered species in their native West Africa.
Starting Friday, the indoor hippo viewing will be intermittent at the discretion of the animal staff as they monitor mom and baby.
Greensboro Science Center’s social media channels are the best ways to keep up with the baby and all the residents at the center.
Holly’s calf comes just a few weeks after two bintlets were born at the center, and in the same week that Asheboro’s North Carolina Zoo welcomed a new giraffe calf to their tower.