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It's Tough Work Being This Cute

Baby pygmy hippo Eve lets out a yawn while out for a stroll with her mom Ellen at the Edinburgh Zoo.
Baby pygmy hippo Eve lets out a yawn while out for a stroll with her mom Ellen at the Edinburgh Zoo. (Image credit: Jon-Paul Orsi)

The Edinburgh Zoo's baby pygmy hippo, Eve, has a lot of work to do growing up. She was caught in the middle of a yawn by photographers while out for a stroll in her enclosure with mom, Ellen.

Eve was the last birth of 2011 for Edinburgh Zoo; Ellen gave birth to her on New Year's Eve. Ellen herself was born at the zoo in 2005.

Mother and baby have a tight bond, the zoo says, spending time together in both their indoor and outdoor enclosures.

The pygmy hippos is only half as tall as its full-size cousin and ways a quarter as much. Adult pygmy hippos stand about 30–32 inches (75–83 centimeters) high at the shoulder, are 59–70 inches (150–177 cm) in length and weigh 400–600 pounds (180–275 kilograms). At birth, pygmy hippos only weight between 9.9 and 13.7 pounds (4.5 to 6.2 kg).

Pygmy hippos can live between 30 and 55 years. The species, native to West Africa, is considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an independent international body that assesses the conservation status of species around the world.

Pygmy hippos are strong swimmers and are perfectly adapted to the water, with muscular valves that close their ears and nostrils when submerged.Baby hippos are not born swimmers though, they must be taught.

Live Science Staff
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