Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park received endangered pygmy hippos, just in time for the grand opening of its new Safari Park addition.
The 5-acre expansion was unveiled Saturday, Feb. 8.
Several other new species will be on display there, including Grevy’s zebra, onagers, caracals and clouded leopard.
The pygmy hippos are the first to call Arizona home.
The pygmy hippopotamus is mainly found in West Africa and is a far more terrestrial species as compared to common hippos. Wildlife World’s new pygmy hippo exhibit provides the new residents with a climate-controlled building, two indoor pools. Outside, they have two separate large green pastures with native foliage and a beautiful joining watering hole fed by a waterfall for the hippos to swim and splash.
The pygmy hippo is now endangered, with recent population estimates indicating there may be fewer than 3,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild. Both types of hippos are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and human settlement.
The addition includes dozens of new exhibits tailored to the natural habitats and needs of each species, incorporating pastures, ponds, islands and water features. Other new species making their debut include red-billed blue magpies, Nilgai antelope, Sarus cranes and other rare and endangered African bird & hoofstock species.
The 5-acre addition brings the total size of Safari Park to nearly 30 acres.
As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives no taxpayer funding.
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Avenue, Litchfield Park (southeast corner of State Route 303 and Northern Avenue).
Wildlife World is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Zoo exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5 p.m.)
Aquarium exhibits are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission includes access to the Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.
For more information, call 623-935-WILD (9453) or visit WildlifeWorld.com.