Bristol

Endangered baby pygmy hippopotamus dies at Bristol Zoo

Baby hippo and mother at Bristol Zoo Image copyright PA
Image caption The baby pygmy hippopotamus was born five weeks ago as part of Bristol Zoo's captive breeding programme

An endangered baby pygmy hippopotamus born at Bristol Zoo has died.

The five-week-old calf, which had not been named, fell ill earlier this week and died on Thursday.

A zoo spokeswoman said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our baby pygmy hippo".

There are fewer than 2,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild and Bristol Zoo is part of an international captive breeding programme.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The calf died after a short illness

The spokeswoman added: "The five-week old calf became ill overnight on Wednesday and was being treated by our vet team.

"Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the youngster passed away."

The animals are an endangered species as they face threats from hunting and people destroying the forests they live in.

They only grow to be around 31in (80cm) tall, which is half the height of their cousin the hippopotamus.

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