It's hard not to gush upon seeing one of nature's most perfectly pudgy creations, the rare Pygmy Hippo -- though until now, spotting them in their natural habitat had been no easy task. But now, for the very first time, a team of scientists have managed to capture a few precious moments of footage of a wild pygmy hippo in the forests of Liberia. With only an estimated 2,000 of the diminutive animals left in their West African ecosystem, lifting the shroud of mystery that surrounds pygmy hippos just might be the only way to save them.
The BBC reports that researchers from Fauna and Flora International, along with the Zoological Society of London and the Forestry Development Authority of Liberia were able to film the rare scene above with the help of motion-sensing camera traps. The nocturnal animals are known for being quite difficult to study; in fact, their very existence remained a mystery outside of West Africa until the 19th century.
Pygmy hippos are classified as an endangered species. Expansion of human development into their forest habitats poses the biggest threat to their continued existence. The research team hopes that as more is discovered about the mysterious animals, they'll be better able to focus their conservation efforts.