Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Zoo celebrates pygmy hippo birth

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Four names have been shortlisted for the rare arrival at Marwell Zoo

A zoo in Hampshire has celebrated the birth of a new pygmy hippo by asking people to name it.

The female pygmy hippo, which weighs 17lbs (8kg) was born as part of a European conservation breeding programme at Marwell Zoo.

There are fewer than 3,000 of the species in the wild and the new arrival is the third pygmy hippo to be born at the zoo in the last five years.

Four names - from places in West Africa - have already been shortlisted.

They are Loko, Kadina, Zimmi and Lola. Voting online, via the zoo's website, closes on Wednesday.

Section manager David Schofield said: "She is doing really well and growing really quickly.

"They are not social creatures, they live in small groups or are solitary."

Pygmy hippos are native to West Africa and the new arrival was born to the zoo's resident adults, Wendy and Antone.

It is predicted that wild populations of pygmy hippos are likely to decline by 20% over the next 20 years.



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