SLIDESHOW: Big splash from Sapo in debut

NO water-wings were needed for baby Sapo when he took his first swim in the outdoor pool at Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday.

For the three-month-old pygmy hippo knew just what to do, because the name hippopotamus means water horse – and Sapo enjoys taking a dip.

The cute calf is an important addition to the ZSL European Endangered Species Programme – a global conservation programme dedicated to threatened animal species which have unique evolutionary history.

Pygmy hippos are endangered in the wild.

Sapo is the first born calf to parents Flora and Tapon.

Flora is being a star mother and helping her young son to thrive.

The hungry hippo is munching on grass and leaves in his outdoor paddock.

Africa section team leader Mark Holden said: “To have a pygmy hippo born is really fantastic. Not only are they endangered, but pygmy hippos are really in vital need of protection to stop their numbers falling even more. The birth of Sapo will hopefully raise awareness of this wonderful animal and help its future survival in the wild.”