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Friday, April 8, 2011 - Contact: 225-273-6439

New hippo on exhibit at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Visit this weekend to see the newest addition to the Zoo

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a female pygmy hippopotamus. This rare animal weighs 550 lbs and is currently on exhibit next to the Zoo's male hippo.

 The hippo was born at the Louisville Zoo in 2006 and is on breeding loan to the Baton Rouge Zoo. Pygmy hippos are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP).

More than 120 institutions worldwide, including the Baton Rouge Zoo, participate in a Species Survival Plan which is a breeding program to help insure the pygmy hippo's survival. Organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), each plan manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. The Baton Rouge Zoo participates in the pygmy hippo SSP as well as many others.

 In order to qualify for a Species Survival Plan, the species must meet certain criteria. The species must be endangered or threatened in the wild and must be approved by the AZA. Currently, zoos and aquariums accredited by AZA administer 300 plans.

 Pygmy hippopotamuses are members of the family Hippopotamidae, along with the larger Nile hippopotamuses. The next closest living relatives are pigs and peccaries. The pygmy hippopotamus is found in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. They prefer dense, swampy forests near rivers, streams and creeks.

 Photo/video opportunities.

 BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo is a place where people connect with animals, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos and alligators. The world-class Realm of the Tiger is now open featuring highly endangered tigers, Siamang gibbons and beautiful Asian birds. Visitors can enjoy the new Flamingo Cove and Giants of the Islands, featuring the Zoo's Chilean flamingos and Galapagos and Aldabra tortoises, as well as the Safari Playground, the Otter Pond, our exhibit featuring a replicated fishing cabin with underwater viewing of the otters, L'aquarium de Louisiane, Parrot Paradise and KidsZoo. Adults and children can ride the Cypress Bayou Railroad on a scenic ride through the unique Louisiana habitat that surrounds the core Zoo. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.

 Visit us at www.brzoo.org

 Admission:
Adults and Teens: $7.00
Seniors: $6.00
Children 2-12: $4.00
1 & under: FREE

 Hours:
Admissions open 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Daily
Zoo grounds close at 5 p.m.

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Baton Rouge Zoo

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