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Oct 16, 2014

Get a Peek at The Pygmy Hippo Baby at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

The Zoo’s pygmy hippo mother and 5-day-old calf are now on exhibit for limited hours to the delight of visitors hoping for an unforgettable look at this rare creature. To share in the celebration, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is inviting the community to cast a vote for cuteness by participating in an online poll to name the newborn.

Name the Newborn Contest Starts Online Today

TAMPA, Fla. (October 16, 2014) — The Zoo’s pygmy hippo mother and 5-day-old calf are now on exhibit for limited hours to the delight of visitors hoping for an unforgettable look at this rare creature. To share in the celebration, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is inviting the community to cast a vote for cuteness by participating in an online poll to name the newborn.

The Zoo’s animal care team selected several names of African origin (Swahili) starting with the letter Z in honor of mother hippo “Zsa Zsa.” The name that receives the highest number of votes through Thursday, October 30, will be announced as the winner during a big baby shower on Saturday, November 1.

Here are the possible names, in alphabetical order, for the 14.5-pound female:

  • Zahra (pronounced Za-rah) “flower”
  • Zawadi (pronounced Za-WAY-dee) “gift”
  • Zuri (pronounced Zoo-ree) “beautiful”

Three voters (in recognition of the Zoo’s third pygmy hippo calf) will be selected at random to win a family 4-pack of Zoo admission tickets to the baby shower on Nov. 1.

Mother and calf will have limited access to the outdoor habitat, normally in the mornings, weather permitting. This calf is the third for the Zoo and just the 30th pygmy hippo in the population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Pygmy hippos are extremely rare in the wild with numbers estimated less than 3,000.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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