Another hippopotamus born in captivity in Peru

Isabel Guerra

The second baby hippopotamus born in Peru was officially introduced yesterday to the Parque de Las Leyendas’ (the biggest zoo in Lima) visitors, mostly children and their parents, who where delighted with the tender sight.

The little animal, which was born last April 2nd, weighs 60kg (120 lb) and has just become the main attraction of the park, along with its parents “Carlota” and “Pipo”.

Zoo director Tatiana Quevedo said he had been separated from his father and brother to avoid conflict among the males.

Two years ago, its brother “Felipe” was the first hippopotamus born in captivity in Peru, and now the name of the new baby will be chosen in a contest that is expected to draw public attention –and even more visitors to the park– as "Felipe" did when he was born.

In May 2006 the hippopotamus was identified as a vulnerable species on the Red List drawn up by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), with an estimated population of between 125,000 and 150,000 hippos, a decline of between 7 percent and 20 percent since the IUCN’s 1996 study, so hippopotamus in the zoos around the world could help to maintain the genetic diversity of the breeding stock.

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