Endangered baby hippo born at zoo in southern Thailand

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ptsdlr872q9e4f/VRP33878.mp4?dl=0

This is the heartwarming moment an endangered baby hippo was born at a zoo in southern Thailand.

Zookeepers and vets helped the pregnant 12-year-old pygmy hippopotamus named Yaya deliver the baby in Khon Kaen zoo.

Footage shows the mother hippo struggling to push her baby out while staff were on standby outside the enclosure waiting for her to finish labouring on May 3.

After almost an hour she was able to safely give birth to a healthy 7kg female animal which was the fourth baby hippo ever born in the zoo.

Khon Kaen acting zoo director Narongwit Chodchoy said the centre had been severely affected by the pandemic so the newborn hippo was a positive for the staff.

He said: ‘The zoo was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic so this was a lovely moment worth celebrating. The newborn was in her mother’s womb for 210 days. She’s strong and healthy.’

The baby hippo was yet to be named and will join her siblings Kaen Koon, Dok Koon, and Yada once she is ready but she will still be reared by her mother.

Yaya mated with another zoo hippo 11-year-old Nadech at the Nakhon Ratchasima zoo in October last year before she became pregnant.

Pygmy hippopotamuses are classified as endangered by the non-government organisation International Union for Conservation of Nature due to rapid habitat loss and massive hunting with only an estimated 3,000 population left.