Highway to the cuddle zone: Harry the baby pygmy hippo

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Meet Harry the hippo, a baby pygmy so small the average person could carry him around with ease.

Harry, named after Britain's Prince Harry, was born last week at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, the Star reports. His handlers are being forced to hand-rear Harry after his mother Hilda refused to feed him. Keeping Harry healthy is a priority, as there are only an estimated 3,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild.

"Pygmy hippo mothers are either great moms or silly moms. She unfortunately has lost a few of her babies after she squashed them," Rob Hall, operations director at the ranch, told the Star.

Harry's handlers are certainly earning their pay, feeding him a mixture of milk and water every three hours, then bathing him after each feeding. "You need to keep his skin moist," Hall said.

Their numbers have been in decline due to deforestation and hunting. Unlike other hippos, the pygmies are not social animals, only seen together in the wild when they are mating.

Some of the photos of Harry that have been released to the public show Harry licking the face of one of his handlers. "These animals are such great characters, and we can see this with Harry," Hall said.

Check out more photos of Harry.

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