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Pygmy Hippo features in Endangered Species Collection

This fifth release in the Endangered Species coin collection features a beautiful mirrored image of the Pygmy Hippopotamus. This endearing nocturnal animal is native to the forests and swamps of West Africa and is believed to have descended as a species from the common Hippo. 

A smaller cousin of the Hippopotamus, the Pygmy Hippo is only half as tall and weighs less than one quarter of its weight. Adult Pygmy Hippos may grow up to 80 cm (31 in) in height, and are believed to have diverged from the common Hippo over 10 million years ago. Like its larger cousin, the Pygmy Hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, relying on water to keep its body temperature stable and its skin moisturized.

Pygmy Hippos are nocturnal and reclusive by nature. While some live as pairs, individual male Hippos are also known to wander between territories inhabited by females.  Surprisingly, these animals are not aggressive when they meet, tending to simply ignore one another instead. It has been estimated that fewer than 3,000 Pygmy Hippos now remain in the wild. These may be primarily found in Liberia, with small populations in Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. 

The Pygmy Hippopotamus relief Silver coin shows an endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus in the swamplands of West Africa, with the scene mirrored in the finely engraved water. Find out more about this intricate Endangered Species coin here.

Endangered Species Collectible Coins - NZ Mint

 

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