The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens on Friday announced the arrival of a pygmy hippopotamus, the first of its endangered species at the zoo since 2004.
The male hippo named Udo, which translates to “peace” in the Igbo language of West Africa, is 2 years old and native to the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, according to the zoo.
Pygmy hippos are different than river hippos, preferring to spend more time out of the water and have smaller heads and mouths. They are about 5 to 6 feet in length and weigh between 400 to 600 pounds, whereas river hippos can weigh over 4,000 pounds, zoo officials say.
“Although the pygmy hippo is much smaller than the larger river hippo, our Udo is big on personality! His presence here helps fulfill our mission to conserve animals such as the pygmy hippo by educating zoo visitors about an endangered species whose numbers have declined drastically due to habitat loss and illegal hunting,” San Francisco Zoological Society executive director Tanya Peterson said in a news release.
Udo will be at an area of the zoo next to other endangered African species like the African lion and black rhino.
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