If there is one thing that can truly put a smile on your face, it’s a Pygmy Hippo calf – one called Obi, in particular. It’s a fact that has given Adelaide Zoo a reason to celebrate this week, with the arrival of their newest family member.
Road-tripping all the way from Melbourne Zoo via hippo-sized pet pack, Obi arrived in his new home on Monday to the delight of the Adelaide Zoo keepers and his new neighbours, the Nile hippos.
Pygmy hippos are sadly an endangered species due to poaching and loss of habitat, so Zoos SA Herbivor Team Leader Heather Guy, hopes to offer Obi a safe environment with plenty of attention and nourishment.
‘Obi will be the only pygmy hippo at Adelaide Zoo,’ says Guy ‘But pygmy hippos are usually solitary in the wild, so this will not be unusual for his species.’
Pygmy hippos are very popular amongst us humans (we’re guessing it’s because of their fat bellies and adorable little shrek-ears!) and Obi is already a chubby little star in his own right.
'We know that Obi has a lot of fans', says Guy, 'particularly in Victoria, so we look forward to welcoming lots of Victorians to Adelaide Zoo to visit him.”
It seems that Obi also comes with a bit of family history, with his Mum being Petre, a Pygmy Hippo who bred successfully at Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Zoo. For us Adelaidians, some might remember Janice, the Pygmy hippo who lived in Adelaide for 33 years? Well, Obi is her grandson! Now that's a royal bloodline we can all respect!
Obi is now settling into his new home at Adelaide Zoo and making lots of new friends, making his public debut on Monday after his arrival.