Jackson Zoo's Pygmy Hippo dies

Source: Jackson Zoo
Source: Jackson Zoo

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) The Jackson Zoo's rare Pygmy Hippo has died at the age of 37.

Rungan -- nicknamed Little Boy -- was born in captivity at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida in 1974. Shortly after, he was moved to the Jackson Zoo.

The zoo says the life span of a Pygmy Hippo is reported to be 30-50 years, although it's unlikely they live this long in the wild. A necropsy is pending.

According to the zoo it's believed that fewer than 3,000 Pygmy Hippos exist in their native habitat of West Africa. They are considered extremely rare primarily due to loss of habitat and hunting.

Little Boy sired two offspring while at the Jackson Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan breeding program.

A female hippo named Clementine remains at the Jackson Zoo and will likely be paired with another male in hopes of continuing the breeding program, according to the zoo.

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