Pygmy hippo unveiled at San Francisco Zoo | Native Information
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 hippopotamus, named Udo, which means “peace” in the West African Igbo language, is 2 years old and is native to the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, according to the zoo.
Pygmy hippos are different from hippos, preferring to spend more time out of the water and having smaller heads and mouths. They are about 5 to 6 feet long and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, while hippos can weigh over 4,000 pounds, zoo officials say.
“Although the pygmy hippo is much smaller than the larger hippo, our Udo has a big personality! His presence here helps fulfill our mission to protect animals like the pygmy hippopotamus by educating zoo visitors about an endangered species that has been in dwindling numbers due to habitat loss and illegal hunting,” said Tanya Peterson, executive director of the San Francisco Zoological Society, in a press release.
Udo will be in an area of the zoo alongside other endangered African species such as the African lion and black rhino.