A rare pygmy hippo was born in the Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre on May 28, 2010. The newborn is especially important to hippopotamus conservation efforts because male babies are particularly uncommon. The baby's name is Oxo.
Pygmy hippos are considered an endangered species by IUCN. Estimates suggest that there are currently fewer than 3000 pygmy hippos. While smaller than its relative, the common hippopotamus, pygmy hippos still clock in between 400 and 600 pounds when fully grown. They are herbivorous mammals that enjoy being submerged in a marsh, resting, by day, and feeding on forest vegetation by night.
The biggest threat to pygmy hippo populations is the deforestation occurring in Africa. Hippos are relatively territorial and solitary, so the decreased size of their grazing land cannot support a more tightly packed group. Collecting the hippos and breeding them in captivity is currently the only hope for conservation of the species.