A newborn pygmy hippo which has been a popular attraction at Colchester Zoo has died.

Yeni was born on January 22 but keepers found the five-week-old calf unresponsive earlier this morning.

The keepers saw Yeni’s mum, Venus, nudging her for movement but it became clear that Yeni had passed away at some stage in the early hours of the morning.

A spokesman said Yeni was swimming in the pool with her mum on Monday and there were no signs to suggest anything was wrong.

Curator Sarah Forsyth said: “Yeni’s passing is a very sad loss to Colchester Zoo and her keepers are understandably distraught but are focusing on Venus to help her through this tough time.

“This is also a great loss for the EEP (European Endangered Species) breeding programme that Yeni was a part of.”

The pygmy hippopotamus is currently listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List so Yeni’s birth was a welcome arrival.

Yeni was a third calf for Venus and Freddie. It is hoped they will have another offspring.

A post mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death.