How cute is this little zoo baby? Lani the Pygmy Hippopotamus was born on March 18, 2014 at Basel Zoo in Switzerland. At birth, the tiny hippo was the size of a rabbit, weighing in at just under 11.5 pounds.
The birth was a happy occasion for the staff at Basel Zoo, as it has been fourteen years since a baby of this species was born there, and it did not survive. Lani's mother Ashaki accompanies her when she is in the outdoor area of their enclosure. Lani is allowed to roam only on sunny days for now, as she needs to keep warm. Her keepers say she enjoys hiding in the bushes and snacking on Fennel and other plant leaves.
Pygmy hippopotamus are severely endangered. They typically live in the rainforests of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Until recently, these countries suffered from political unrest and instability; thus, few researchers and conservationists operate there. Basel Zoo donates 17,000 Swiss francs each year to support a conservation project in Sierra Leone. Via ZooBorns.
Image Credit: Basel Zoo