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New arrival: Richmond zoo welcomes baby pygmy hippopotamus

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia zoo received the Christmas present it wanted earlier this month -- a baby pygmy hippopotamus.

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According to a news release on Friday, the Metro Richmond Zoo announced that the hippo was born at the zoo on Dec. 6.

It is the second pygmy hippo calf born at the zoo, the release stated. The calf has yet to be named.

The calf’s parents are Iris and Corwin, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The animal weighed 16 pounds three days after its birth and had tipped the scales at 24.2 pounds a week later, zoo officials said. According to the zoo, a full-grown pygmy hippo can weigh up to 600 pounds.

“Iris is an experienced mother and very caring of her baby,” the zoo said in its news release. “The calf has been nursing and is growing quickly.

“Iris and her baby currently reside in a super cozy, hay-bedded enclosure that is off-exhibit.”

Iris and the calf are bonding privately, WWBT-TV reported. Zoo officials said they will be moved into an indoor pool area and will be visible to guests soon.

The Metro Richmond Zoo is the only place in Virginia where people can see hippos, the zoo said in its news release.