Norbert Pygmy Hippo - Credit Mark Fryer
November will be a bittersweet month for fans of our pygmy hippo calf Norbert as, not only has he celebrated his first birthday, but he will also be leaving the collection on Thursday 23 November.
The one-year-old has become a popular fixture here at Marwell, but he has now joined the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and will, with luck, be having his own offspring in the future.
That is still some way off with the immediate future focused around getting him settled in at his new home, Pairi Daiza, which is in the province of Hainaut in Belgium.
Our Primates & Small Mammals have been looking after him since birth – along with the superb work of Norbert’s mother, Wendy – and they are excited for him to have his own adventure.
Speaking about Norbert’s last few weeks at the zoo, keeper Jake Robbins said: “He has been separate from his mum for some time now and has reacted well to it. He’s been with her a lot longer than her other offspring but she seems really unfazed, which is a good sign. Norbert’s a mummy’s boy but he is doing really well.
“It’s great for the species too. Male pygmy hippos are really important as they are rarer than female-born hippos. Hopefully he will be breeding soon.
“It’s a shame that he is leaving. He has been stubborn but he’s a sweet little thing.”
With Norbert departed, attention will turn to his parents, Wendy and Oliver, who will remain at Marwell.
Jake added: “Wendy and Oliver will remain separate for now and we are unsure at this time whether they will be reunited.”
We wish the young pygmy hippo all the best on his new adventure, and you can keep updated with his progress on our social media feeds.