We are excited to announce that Kindia, a 12- year-old female pygmy hippopotamus, gave birth to a female calf on Friday August 10 at 10:52 pm.
A pygmy hippopotamus’ gestation period is about 180 – 210 days, after which a single calf is born. Subsequently, Kindia, was moved from public viewing into a maternity area within the Pygmy Hippo Habitat where video cameras were set in place for Wildlife Care to monitor her closely. While the calf appears healthy, and feeding well, the first thirty days will be critical for both mom and calf. Toronto Zoo Wildlife Care staff will continue to closely monitor Kindia and her calf in the maternity area, which is not visible to the public at this time. Kindia arrived to the Toronto Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Fleche in Sarthe, France in June of 2016 as part of a global breeding program. This is Kindia’s first surviving calf, and was sired by Harvey our 23-year-old male. This is the seventh birth of a pygmy hippopotamus in Toronto Zoo’s history, and the first pygmy hippo birth since 1999.
This recent birth is very important for pygmy hippopotamus conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and there are only approximately 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, with Liberia having the majority of the population. Small numbers are also found in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Over the past 100 years, the pygmy hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.
Please note, Kindia and her calf are not currently visible to the public.