A BABY pygmy hippo has been officially named – thanks to the help of the public.
The new arrival at Marwell Wildlife was born at the zoo, near Winchester, on December 13 to her 18-year-old mum Wendy, who lives at Marwell, and dad Nato, who stayed at the park during the summer.
Keepers at Marwell asked for help in naming the 6kg, 15cm tall hippo, giving a choice of Gloria, Harriet or Rosie.
Now Marwell has revealed that the winning name for the calf is Gloria, which received 36.5 per cent of the votes. Rosie was a close second with 35.6 per cent followed by Harriet which gained 27.9 per cent.
Kevin Saunders, team leader for small mammals, said: “We think Gloria really suits our new arrival. We wanted something that will fit well with her mum’s name, Wendy, and we think they are great together.
“Gloria has now had a swim with mum and we are very happy with how it went. Keepers will always stand by to make sure she doesn’t get into trouble, but Wendy is very experienced and keeps a close eye on her at all times.”
Gloria is an important addition to the European Endangered Breeding Programme.
In the wild, pygmy hippos are elusive animals, living in the swamps of western Africa.
Ongoing deforestation in their natural habitat and civil unrest present significant threats to the population.
Their numbers have steadily declined and the species is now listed as endangered.