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A baby pygmy hippo in Osaka, Japan

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Pygmy hippopotamuses are native to West Africa, but this one was born in Osaka, Japan. NIFREL welcomed baby Tam Tam in February of 2019. At one month old, he was in the pool. His teeth were seen at three months. The video also shares footage of him nursing underwater, a hippo skill.

checking on tam tam's health
baby tam tam in the pool

With only around 2,000 of them remaining in the world, pygmy hippos are an endangered species. Tam Tam’s birth weight was 6.4 kg. In just a year, he weighed over 100 kg.

One hundred kilograms is around 220 pounds. Full-grown, he’ll be between 400 to 600 pounds. That sounds pretty big, but according to the Louisville Zoo, pygmy hippos weigh less than 1/4th of the weight of a common hippo.

Tam Tam takes after his father—they’re both laid back. “The pink part of his neck is soft and feels great to touch. Tam Tam sleeps everywhere; in the pool, on the ground, on hay,” says the keeper who looks after him. Currently, he has been moved from NIFREL in Osaka to a zoo in Kobe.

tam tam
Watch more videos about hippopotamuses, including:
• A baby pygmy hippo swims with mum in Melbourne
• Baby Hippo Makes a Splash at the San Diego Zoo
• Hippos eating watermelons at Nagasaki Biopark
• A hippo gets his teeth brushed

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