The Hippopotamus, or Hippo is the third largest land animal after the elephant and rhinoceros. It is native to Sub-Saharan Africa with the largest populations today found in Zambia and Tanzania. It is semi-aquatic and inhabits rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps. Despite the fact that it spends a lot of time in the water the hippo is not a very good swimmer.

Hippos have an average weight of 1500 kilograms (3300 pounds) but some large males reach 2000 kilograms (4400 pounds). They do not exhibit distinct sexual dimorphism. They can run at 30 km/h (19m/h) over a short distance.

They congregate in groups as large as a hundred animals. Males are territorial in their water environment. They are essentially herbivores but will sometimes eat carrion.

Hippopotamus @ Safari Niagara

  • Our pair of Hippos are named Bobo and Gladys
  • They live across from the giraffes and spend much of their time in their large pool

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Hippomidea
Genus: Hippopotamus
Species: H. amphibius

Did you know?

  • Populations are on the decline due largely to poaching.
  • Hippos once lived as far north as the Nile in Egypt and the Levant.
  • There are 5 subspecies of the hippopotamus based on location.