TAMPA, FL — An endangered pygmy hippopotamus was born earlier this month at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo to experienced mother Zsa Zsa. The gender and name of the nine pound baby have yet to be revealed.

Pygmy hippos are smaller than their Nile hippo relative. Unlike the more common river hippo, which live in large pods in rivers throughout much of eastern and southern Africa, pygmy hippos are much rarer, living solitary, elusive lives in lowland forests, mainly confined to Liberia in West Africa, with small numbers in neighboring countries. At full grown, pygmy hippos weigh in at only a few hundred pounds, and stand only about three feet tall.  

"Pygmy hippos are elusive and extremely rare in the wild with only a few thousand thought to be left in the world," said Chris Massaro, General Curator at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. "We're one of only 13 zoos in the United States to care for this unique species so this birth is especially important for us, and the entire Pygmy hippo population."

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.tlpz.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information.