A rare pygmy hippopotamus has been born at a Hampshire zoo, it confirmed today.

Now Marwell Zoo is inviting visitors to vote for a name for the new arrival, which was born as part of a European conservation breeding programme.

The female hippo was born weighing 9lb (4kg) to parents Wendy and Antone on November 13.

A spokesman for the zoo said: ''She has formed a strong bond with her mum and they spend many hours swimming together in their pool.''

The shortlisted names for the hippo are all places in west Africa which is the native home for the pygmy hippo. The names are Loko, Kadina, Zimmi and Lola.

The World Conservation Union estimates that there are fewer than 3,000 pygmy hippos remaining in the wild.

The nocturnal forest creature has found its native habitat under threat as forests are logged and converted to farm land.