Hippo in queen Elizabeth national park

8 Facts about African Hippos

8 Facts about African Hippos

The African continent is blessed with two species of Hippos, these include the normal hippos commonly found in East African waters and south of the Sahara. This happens to be the largest herbivorous semi-aquatic mammal and being the third largest land mammal after Elephants and Rhinos. The other much smaller species of hippo are the pygmy hippos limited to very restrict ranges in West Africa, commonly these are solitary forest dwellers, and are now announced endangered due to the increased poaching.

Common hippos are recognizable by their wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, columnar legs, barrel-shaped torsos and nearly hairless bodies. Averagely adult males weight up to and adult females go in for 1,300 kg (2,870 lb.) and these can widely be spotted out on wildlife safaris in Uganda.
African Hippos in Uganda
Hippos inhabits rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river all leaving in schools of five to thirty females and young ones. Hippos prefer grazing at night due to their poor body temperature regulation condition, and during the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud (as pictured above), reproduction and childbirth both occur in water, while hippos rest near each other in the water, grazing is solitary done. The hippo is among the most dangerous animals in the world as it is highly aggressive and unpredictable, its recorded they are said to kill over 500 people per year globally according to research conducted as published on BBC News.

8 Facts about African Hippos

  • These are considered third largest land mammals after Elephants and Rhinos being placed first and second respectively. Averagely adult males can weigh up to 1,500 kg (3,310 lb.) and average female can weigh up to 1,300 kg (2,870 lb.).
  • The Hippo population have declined due to an increased encroach of humans on their habitat and subject to increased hunting due to increased demand in ivory and wild meat. Today, they are largely confined to protected areas in East African countries.
  • For Rhinos to keep their bodies cool under heat temperatures, they spend most of their day in mud, rivers and lakes. What’s more, Hippos sweat an oily reddish liquid which helps protect their skin from drying.
  • The muddy-brown skin creatures that fades to a pale pink color underneath; Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals with short legs, large barrel-shaped body, an enormous head and short tail.
  • Due to poor body temperature regulation mechanism, Hippos are most active during night hours, so they take advantage of the night to fully feed and spend the entire day time in water cooling their bodies.
  • Hippo gestation period is around eight months (243 days) and begin to get aggressive before the calf is born, soon after they join the school for protection against predators.
  • Hippos usually live in schools of around 5 to 30 individuals, led by one large dominant bull ready to protect the entire school from enemies.
  • The life span of African Hippos lies between 40 – 50 years.