Adelaide Zoo has welcomed an 11-month-old pygmy hippopotamus, which has arrived in a new-look enclosure after a day’s journey from Melbourne.
Obi the male calf was born at Melbourne Zoo to mother Petre, who herself left Adelaide Zoo for breeding programs in Sydney and Melbourne.
Adelaide Zoo’s herbivore leader Heather Guy said the zoo had been waiting several years for a new pygmy hippo.
“He’s got a nice pool to swim in, he’s got a nice little bedding area where he’s got some straw for his bed and some heat lamps to keep him warm,” she said.
Pygmy hippos are endangered in their native forests of West Africa and zookeepers hope Obi will become part of a breeding program.
Obi’s journey up the Western and Dukes highways was described as “stress-free” in a hippo-sized travelling crate.
Melbourne Zoo’s Marcia Salverson said Victoria had lost one of its star attractions.
“It’s really sad to lose him, the keepers and my team have a really strong bond with him … but at the same time we’re really pleased to be helping out,” she said.
Obi’s grandmother Janice lived in the same enclosure at Adelaide Zoo for 33 years.