COMMON HIPPOS 

HIPPOPOTAMUS AMPHIBIUS 

Hippos are amphibious, spending their days in water – rivers, lakes, wetlands and muddy wallows – and emerging at sunset to feed. 

A hippo’s skin must remain moist, as it will crack if exposed to the air and sun for long periods. They secrete an oily red liquid from subdermal glands which is thought to function as a sunscreen, antibiotic and insect repellent.  

Fights for possession of a territory can be fierce and hippos may inflict considerable injuries with their huge canines, though minor conflicts are often settled by threat displays such as the "yawn". 

Hippos are sociable and live in herds ranging from the tens to a hundred. Females usually give birth to a single baby every other year and lactation can extend for 18 months or longer. 

*International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species

  • IUCN* STATUS

    Vulnerable

  • POPULATION

    115,000-130,000 ⚫

  • DIET

    Herbivorous – grass, shoots and flowers

  • HABITAT

    Wetland habitats including rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps

  • LOCATION

    Throughout sub-Saharan Africa

ISSUES

The primary threats to hippo survival are poaching, for their ivory canine teeth and meat, and loss of habitat due to human settlement, deforestation and pollution.  

A reliance on fresh water habitats puts hippos in direct conflict with increasing human populations, primarily due to water diversion for agricultural and building development in proximity to wetland areas.

OUR WORK

The ivory trade is a major threat to wild hippo populations and Born Free campaigns to ensure the hippo’s survival in the wild.

 WE RAISE FUNDS TO SUPPORT . . .

 


WILDLIFE TRADE & POLICY

The primary threats to hippo survival is poaching for their ivory canine teeth. As a result of the Elephant Ivory Ban we could see poachers target hippos as an alternative source of ivory.

IVORY TRADE

 

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