The Toronto Zoo’s new pygmy hippo has a name: Meet Penelope

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The Toronto Zoo’s new pygmy hippo has a name: Meet Penelope


The biggest baby at the Toronto Zoo finally has a name: Penelope.

The 2-month-old was named after an online poll ran from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2 — the choices were between the names Alika, Penelope, Zola and Zawadi.

Penelope, seen here in a photo posted to Twitter by the Toronto Zoo last month.
Penelope, seen here in a photo posted to Twitter by the Toronto Zoo last month.  (TheTorontoZoo/Twitter)

Penelope was born on Aug. 10 to 12-year-old mother Kindia and 23-year-old father Harvey. Penelope is her mother’s first surviving calf and the seventh pygmy hippopotamus birth in the zoo’s history.

The zoo said Penelope weighs just over 20 kilograms, but will probably grow to around her mom’s current weight of 250 kilograms.

The staff are “head over heels in love” with Penelope, Wildlife Care Supervisor Hollie Ross said.

“Penelope might be the cutest baby I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” she said. “She is strong, confident and a little cheeky which, in my opinion, makes her even cuter!”

Pygmy hippos are endangered, according to the zoo, with only about 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa.

Visitors can see Penelope and Kindia in the zoo’s African Rainforest pavilion daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Early videos posted by the zoo show staff bathing Penelope in a plastic storage container, but she’s since graduated to the pool and learned to swim underwater.

Go underwater with our pygmy hippo calf and mom Kinda! 🌊
Kindia, a 12- year-old female pygmy hippopotamus gave birth to a female calf on Friday, August 10, 2018.

The last pygmy hippo birth at the Toronto Zoo, Pogo, was born in 1999. He now resides in Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fl.

Jack Hauen is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @jackhauen





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