SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — A 2-month-old male pygmy hippopotamus graduated out of the nursery just in time for the San Diego Zoo’s official reopening Saturday.
The 40-pound calf was named Akobi, which means first-born in the Yoruba language spoken in West Africa. Akobi moved into the larger main pygmy hippo habitat in the Lost Forest area of the zoo with his mother, Mabel, this week.
Akobi stay stayed closed to mom while exploring the new terrain, which will give him access to African cichlids, a species of fish that live in the pool, and gradual introduction to other primates in the habitat, like a pair of Wolf’s monkeys and a pair of lesser spot-nosed monkeys.
“Akobi is doing great at navigating the pygmy hippo habitat, and I look forward to seeing the interactions between him and the primates who live in this habitat, too,” Leanne Klinski, a wildlife care specialist for primates, said in a statement.
Akobi was born on April 9, and is Mabel’s first calf. He’s also the first successfully born pygmy hippo at the San Diego Zoo in more than 30 years.
According to the San Diego Zoo, pygmy hippos are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conversation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Fewer than 2,500 pygmy hippos now remain in Africa, where they typically live in rivers and streams.