Arizona's FIRST Endangered Pygmy Hippo Born at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park Just in Time for World Hippo Day!

For the first time ever, one of the most endangered and beloved animals of Africa is born right here in the Arizona desert! Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is beyond excited to announce the birth of an adorable Pygmy Hippo… named Bubbles! This is a significant birth not only for Wildlife World, but for animal enthusiasts and conservationists, because fewer than 3,000 of these amazing animals are left in the wild. Bubbles was born January 15th to his parents, Nessie and Tootsie and is in excellent health. Come out and see Baby Bubbles, who is on exhibit now (weather permitting) just in time for World Hippo Day on February 15th!

Hippos are highly intelligent animals, and the team at Wildlife World was able to train complex medical behaviors allowing the mother Nessie to participate in procedures like ultrasounds, long before the calf was conceived. By Nessie participating in her own health care, the animal team, including 2 veterinarians, veterinary technicians and specialists, were able to better monitor her and Bubbles’ health through every step of pregnancy. That ensured the birth of a healthy calf, and helped maintain the health, comfort, and well-being of mom.

The pygmy hippopotamus is mainly found in West Africa and is a far more terrestrial species compared to common hippos. Both types of hippos are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and human settlement. Although conservation initiatives are ongoing, without more information on the species’ status and a coordinated conservation strategy, the Pygmy Hippo may disappear from the wild. Fortunately, Arizona’s climate is much like parts of West Africa and provides the young hippos with a perfect environment to flourish and thrive, all the while being an ambassador for their species and inspiring people to conserve and protect their wild counterparts.

With more than 600 species and 6000 animals on display, there are always new arrivals at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. Wildlife World’s keepers and veterinarians have raised dozens of species of wild and endangered animals over the past quarter century. Wildlife World strives to maximize genetic diversity in the zoological population with their breeding programs. As an USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World in its nearly 38-year history.