On September 21, 2021, the Tanganyika family welcomed a pygmy hippo calf named Link! Link is the third pygmy hippo born at Tanganyika Wildlife Park and the third to be born in Kansas. He was born to mom, Posie, and dad, Pluto, who you might have fed at our pygmy hippo feeding stand.
Good Things Come In Small Packages | Nile VS Pygmy
Everyone knows about the boss of the river: the Nile hippo, but few people have heard of the Pygmy hippo. Although they may seem similar, they are actually very different!
- Pygmy hippos are far less aquatic. They spend most of their resting and foraging for food on land. Their smaller size allows them to navigate through dense forests and unlike Nile hippos, Pygmy’s give birth on land rather than in the water.
- Their physical characteristics are very different. Pygmy hippos have separated toes rather than webbed feet, their eyes are on the side of their head rather than the top, and Pygmy hippos actually have longer legs than Nile hippos!
- Location. Nile hippos are found in sub-Saharan Africa, whereas the Pygmy hippo is mostly confined to the dense forests and swamps of Liberia. The two species of hippo do not share habitat. Due to the dense forests and the fact that Pygmy hippos are nocturnal, very little is known about their behaviors in the wild.
- Social structure. Nile hippos form large family groups called a bloat. Pygmy hippos are actually solitary and only come together for breeding or while mom is raising her calf. This is why you’ll only see one of our adult hippos on exhibit at a time.
- Pygmy hippos are listed as endangered. There are approximately 3,000 Pygmy hippos remaining and their numbers are continuing to drop due to poaching and habitat loss.
Link is over 2 months old and already 50 lbs! By the time he is 5 months old, he will be 10x his birth weight (15 lbs)! When he is fully grown, he is expected to be around a whopping 500 lbs.
How You Can Support Link
One way that you can help support Link is to symbolically adopt him! Your contribution will go towards his day to day care at the park and because Tanganyika Wildlife Park is family-owned and receives no government subsidies, it is only with your help that we can continue to have a significant impact in the stewardship of pygmy hippos and our other symbolically adoptable animals.
We all know someone who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas, so now is your chance!
You can also support him by coming out to visit him at the park! Every admission ticket purchased contributes to our overall goal to strengthen the connections between people and the natural world.
We look forward to you joining us on Link’s journey as he grows! He is already full of personality and has stolen the hearts of many fans.
Be sure to follow him on his personal TikTok: @linkthepygmyhippo
About the Author: Sierra, TWP Hoofstock Keeper, is an Okie with a sweet tea addiction. She’s known for falling up the giraffe stairs, doing a rectal ultrasound on a rhino, and for mispronouncing “ungulate” once. She can be found wandering around Wichita in an inflatable rhino suit.