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Saturday, June 22: Stone Zoo will close at 3pm (last tickets sold at 2pm) in preparation for our event, A Wild Affair. Please plan your visit accordingly!

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Welcome to the Kids' Corner

All About Animals

Pygmy Hippopotamus Family

  • Cleo

    Meet Cleopatra

    Cleo is a wonderful mom, devoting much of her time to son, Ptolemy. She's passed on her love of browse (leaves and branches) to him as well, and you'll see them both happily munching on leaves and branches like knotweed and mulberry!

  • Inocencio

    Meet Inocencio

    You can often see Inocencio enjoying an afternoon nap or taking a dip in his pool. He loves getting special treats like pumpkin and watermelon!

  • Ptlomey

    Meet Ptolemy

    Ptolemy continues to grow, both in size and personality! He has a lot of confidence, and he's learned so much by watching his mom, including how to get on a scale to be weighed. Now that Ptolemy is bigger, his caretakers have introduced him to larger enrichment items like log feeders and boomer balls.

  • shop responsibly to save hippos in the wild

    Calling all Hippo Helpers!

    You can help endangered species like the pygmy hippo! It's as easy as being more mindful of your choices when you shop. Help protect hippo habitat by purchasing products that use certified sustainable palm oil instead. Look for logos like these!

  • hippo

    Fun Fact:

    Our hippos are international travelers! Cleo is Canadian, and Inocencio came from Chile. Baby Ptolemy is a Boston boy, born here at Franklin Park Zoo!

  • hippo

    Fun Fact: 

    Pygmy hippos mark their trails by wagging their tails as they poop. 

Our hippos are world travelers, with Cleo coming to Boston from Toronto and Inocencio coming from Chile.  And "little" Ptolemy is a Boston boy! You can often see one of the hippos enjoying a dip in the pool just as the Zoo opens in the morning!

About the Pygmy Hippopotamus

conservation status: endangered

Geographic Range:

range map

Class: Mammalia 
Order: Cetartiodactyla 
Family: Hippopotamidae  
Genus: Choeropsis
Species: liberiensis

The pygmy hippo is a stout animal with a relatively small and rounded head and thick blackish skin. Like the larger Nile hippo, it excretes reddish droplets that soften and protect its skin. This creature is solitary and secretive in the wild. It's not vicious, but can be dangerous when disturbed. The pygmy hippo will attempt to intimidate potential enemies by opening its jaws and baring its canine teeth.

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