Dehiwala zoo last week celebrated the recent births of three pygmy hippos. To make the occasion a special one the zoo gave visitors an opportunity to choose three names for the new arrivals. The eldest born five months ago was named ‘Hapani’ while the second born in February was named ‘Hiyara’ and the youngest born last month was named ‘Sameena’.
Pygmy Hippopotamus inhabit a small area in West Africa and are categorized as endangered by the IUCN conservation criteria. Hence, many zoos around the world conduct breeding.
While warning not to harass the little ones by throwing food at them each time the pygmy hippos open their mouths, zoo officials have asked visitors to come and say hello to these three new arrivals.
The Dehiwala Zoo has also got down a baby elephant from Pinnawala, that was hit by a train. The little elephant was lucky, but not so its mother and another she elephant and her calf which were killed on the spot.
Published on online edition of SundayTimes on 01.05.2011 http://sundaytimes.lk/110501/News/nws_01103.html