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Hippo birth caught on video at Aussie zoo

Postmedia Network

A baby pygmy hippopotamus is born on May 25, 2015 in this still frame from a Melbourne Zoo video. This is the first pygmy hippo to be born at Melbourne Zoo for 33 years. (Melbourne Zoo/Postmedia Network)

A baby pygmy hippopotamus is born on May 25, 2015 in this still frame from a Melbourne Zoo video. This is the first pygmy hippo to be born at Melbourne Zoo for 33 years. (Melbourne Zoo/Postmedia Network)

The Melbourne Zoo has captured on video the birth of a pygmy hippopotamus — the first to be born there in 33 years.

The clip shows the mother, Petre, appearing surprised when it finds the calf in the hay moments after the birth Monday. Petre then appears to settle into its role quickly and cleans the small hippo and nuzzles it.

The calf is the fourth offspring born to Petre, but the first for father Felix.

The birth was filmed by newly installed CCTV cameras, allowing keepers in an office next to the den to view the baby's birth live, the zoo said on its website Thursday.

"Petre is showing herself to be a very good and attentive mother to the newborn," the zoo said.

Keepers have been giving mom and baby space to bond, but believe the new baby to be a boy.

Zoo vet Dr. Sarah Frith planned to attempt to weigh the calf in the coming days and confirm its gender.

Pygmy hippos, native to Africa, are endangered in the wild due to poaching and the loss of their rainforest habitat.


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