ZooTampa Celebrates Pygmy Hippo Birthday

Happy first birthday, Holly Berry! Last December, ZooTampa at Lowry Park and The Hyppo, a gourmet ice pop company with several stores in the Tampa Bay area, partnered on a contest to name the Zoo’s newest baby girl, a rare pygmy hippopotamus – the winning name was Holly Berry. They partnered once again to celebrate Holly’s first birthday.

“The Hyppo is thrilled to partner with the zoo again to celebrate Holly Berry’s first birthday”, said Jessi Streator, Executive Assistant at The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops. “We have always admired the great work of ZooTampa and have really enjoyed continuing our involvement in the celebration of this rare species.”

Members of The Hyppo production team assisted the Zoo’s commissary team to create special enrichment for Holly Berry. Enrichment encourages natural behaviors and exercise. It provides stimulation for the senses and mind, while engaging animals socially. Hippo-sized ice pops were created using fresh cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. The Zoo’s Africa team, who provide daily care to the pygmy hippos, carefully placed the giant pops inside her habitat. Guests were invited to celebrate the special day with The Hyppo’s delicious pops, carolers, giveaways and more!

The endangered pygmy hippo was born at the Zoo in the early morning on Dec. 1, 2017. With less than 40 pygmy hippos in the Species Survival Program, this newborn is a rare gift for the Tampa community. Pygmy hippos, as their name implies, are smaller than their Nile hippo relative.

“We are excited to celebrate Holly Berry’s first birthday. It’s been special to have our community be part of Holly’s milestones and watch her grow,” said Chris Massaro, General Curator at ZooTampa. “It was fun working with The Hyppo again – in the commissary and as partners!  They are a beloved local company and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

Guests can see Holly Berry in her habitat in Ituri Forest located in Safari Africa. Visitors can help ZooTampa care for hippos by adopting a hippo. The funds raised go to animal care and conservation efforts.

For the latest on ZooTampa and other attractions, theme parks and more across the region, be sure to follow Touring Central Florida on twitter @TourCentralFL@androckb@Emmet_TCF, @JacobTouringCe1, and give our facebook page a like.

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