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Belgium: Baby hippo gets first dive in big pool

Born on February 12 at Belgium’s Pairi Daiza, a zoo well-known in Belgium for its pandas, the unnamed male calf is the second child to his mother Nema and his father Emilio, following the birth of Kibo in 2013.

Hippo enthusiasts will have to wait to take a peek at the baby as Belgium is currently undergoing a lockdown expected to last at least eight weeks, as the country seeks to contain the spread of coronavirus.

According to Pairi Daiza, there are currently between 115,000 and 130,000 hippos living in the wild in Africa.

Considered a ‘vulnerable species’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), hippopotamuses can be found in the wild from Mali to South Africa but became extinct in a number of countries such as Algeria, Egypt and Eritrea.

According to the IUCN, the main threat against the species are the destruction of its habitat, hunting, armed conflicts, water management and droughts.

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