Teri Wilson
November 22, 2015 10:54 am

Something super adorable just happened at the Bristol Zoo in the United Kingdom. A baby pygmy hippo was born! And guys, this tiny thing is ALL kinds of sweet. Look at it. Just look…

Awwww! The little hippo was born just under three weeks ago, and zoo officials aren’t sure yet whether it’s a boy or a girl. (They want to give the cutie and its parents some space, which is totally cool.) The baby doesn’t even have a name yet. Might we make some suggestions? How about Bubbles? Or Jelly Bean? Because this cutie seems SO SWEET.

The arrival of the baby pygmy hippo isn’t just adorable, it’s also super important. Pygmy hippos are classified as endangered. Less than 2,000 of them exist in the wild, and their numbers are declining. The Bristol Zoo is part of a worldwide effort to breed pygmy hippos in captivity and save the species.

A few fun facts about pygmy hippos: They’re only about half as tall as ordinary hippos (and possibly twice as cute…sorry regular hippos. We love you, too. Promise!) Like Betty White and Natalie Portman, they’re vegetarians. They’re also nocturnal and pretty private, which explains why the zoo is giving this new baby some alone time with its mom and dad.

According to the zoo’s website, keepers hope the hippo house will be open to the public soon. They also say the new addition is doing great. According to Lynsey Bugg, Bristol Zoo’s Assistant Curator of Mammals, “The calf is looking very strong and it certainly feeds well. Like any youngster, it wants to be close to Mum at all times and is often seen by her side. It spends short periods of time in the water but is not quite as good at swimming as its parents so we often see Mum Sirana guiding her little one back into the shallow water. Young hippos tire easily.”

Aw. Rest up, little cutie. Being an international symbol for conservation and cuteness in general has got to be exhausting. Just saying.

Related reading:

A baby pygmy hippo takes its first swim. Pshaw, floaties.

[Images via Bristol Zoo Gardens on Twitter.]

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