Hippos have a pretty chilled existence. When they’re not bathing, eating or marking their territory by spraying poo all over the place, chances are they’ll be taking a well-earned nap. However, for the pint-sized pygmy hippos of ZSL London Zoo, life is about be become even sweeter, with the unveiling of plush new digs for the the endangered river-horses.
The new Pygmy Pad opening today (April 5) boasts heated pools, a landscape garden and a team of dedicated staff to tend to the every need of 17 year-old male hippo ‘Thug’ and his 19 year-old lady friend ‘Nicky’. Set to be incorporated into the zoo’s ‘Into Africa exhibit‘, the pygmy hippos – a far smaller breed than the familiar adults – are a particularly rare species with only 3,000 believed to remain across the globe due to aggressive poaching in their homeland of Western Africa.
Those wishing to take a tour of the hippo’s new habitat will find themselves walking through a recreated village chief’s hut modelled on those found in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, complete with west African furnishings in an attempt to make the experience as authentic as possible.
Passionate about poo? Us neither, but if you’ve got a fascination for faeces or just really, really liked that Gillian McKeith show, London Zoo is celebrating ‘Poo at the Zoo’ this Easter, with a packed programme of exhibitions and events for those of you wanting to truly immerse yourself in all aspects of the animal ambiance.
For a video of the new hippos settling into their sweet new home see below.