Zoo officials hope Inocencio, rare pygmy hippopotamus, is in the mood for love

Zoo officials are hoping Inocencio is in the mood for love.
Zoo officials are hoping Inocencio is in the mood for love.
Franklin Park Zoo

He’s a young male, new in town. And he’s looking for love.

At least, that’s what Franklin Park Zoo officials are hoping about Inocencio, a rare pygmy hippopotamus who made his public debut this afternoon.

Inocencio, who recently turned 2, was brought to the United States from Chile in December to cozy up with Cleopatra, a female pygmy hippo, said zoo officials.

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The breed is endangered — only 61 animals are known to be in North America — and most of them are female. So Inocencio, a nearly 300-pound male, was a crucial find, said zoo officials.

Zookeepers gave Inocencio just over a month in quarantine at the Franklin Park Zoo to recuperate before he was introduced to the public. Inocencio was born and raised at the Parque Zoológico Buin Zoo in Chile.

Inocencio today was moved into the Franklin Park Zoo’s tropical forest exhibit.

Inocencio has not yet been introduced to his new mate, but zoo officials hope they will hit it off.