Rare pygmy hippo, a week old, dies at San Diego zoo

A rare pygmy hippopotamus born last week at the San Diego Zoo, the first calf born at the California facility in over a decade, has died, staff said on Friday.The calf was born in seemingly good health at the zoo in southern California on Nov. 11, officials said in a statement, but a veterinary exam later found the newborn was not receiving proper nourishment, despite care from its mother."Sad to announce the death of our pygmy hippo calf," an official with the San Diego Zoo wrote on Twitter.It was the first surviving pygmy hippo birth at the San Diego Zoo in more than a decade, it said. The zoo has not said whether the calf was male or female. The pygmy hippopotamus, from the forests of West Africa, is listed on a list of threatened species maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.There were roughly 2,000 left in the world a decade ago, the most recent population survey showed, the zoo said. Habitat destruction and wildlife trafficking in recent years has likely played a role in reducing the population, it said. The pygmy is less aquatic and smaller than its non-pygmy hippo relatives, having a rounder and narrower head and a median life expectancy of 27 years, the zoo said. It can weigh as much as 600 pounds, it said. In Australia, a pygmy hippopotamus calf was unveiled in June at Melbourne Zoo, the first to be born there since 1981. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Alistair Bell)