Know Before You Go:
• In order to ensure the safety of staff and guests, we've made modifications to the Zoo experience in accordance with public guidance and health recommendations. Please be sure to review the following Re-Opening FAQs for FPZ and SZ before your visit.
• Members:​ Online reservations and scannable timed tickets are now required for your visit. More


All About Animals

Pygmy Hippopotamus

  • Fun Fact: 

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

  • Fun Fact:

    You can often find our hippos in the water first thing in the morning.

  • Fun Fact:

    Our two pygmy hippos are international travelers! Cleo is Canadian, and Inocencio came from Chile.

Cleopatra and Inocencio, the pygmy hippos, are in the Tropical Forest at Franklin Park Zoo.

See This Animal At the Zoo

They are both international animals, with Cleo coming to Boston from Toronto and Inocencio coming from Chile.  You can often see one of them in water just as the Zoo opens in the morning.


About the Pygmy Hippopotamus


Geographic Range:


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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