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Pygmy Hippopotamus

Fact File

Class: Mammal
Order: Artiodactyla (Even Toed Hoofed Animal)
Family: Hippopotamuses
Found:  Africa 
Head to Body Length: 1.6metres
Height: 85cm           
Weight: 180-250kg


Diet: Herbivore
(Plant Eater)
Gestation: 184-208 days


Conservation Status: CR

Fun Facts
The pinky white secretion they produce moisturises and protects the skin like built sunscreen.

They can stay underwater for more than 5 minutes.

A loud eater, the pygmy hippo can be heard munching from up to 45 meters away.

Pygmy Hippopotamus

Hexaprotodon liberiensis

Habitats: Less aquatic than the large hippo their preferred habitat is thick undergrowth near rivers or streams or the border zone between rainforests and swamps. Hippos will rest for most of the day in the shade and begin to feed in late afternoon.  When foraging in tropical forests they make deep paths similar to tunnels within the dense brush, when foraging in water they form canal like pathways.

Threats: Pygmy hippo’s are very rare in the wild, with probably only a few thousand left.  Endangered because of habitat loss they are also hunted extensively for food and trophies. (teeth) Populations are declining and becoming increasingly fragmented, the Nigerian population may already be extinct.   Today, the forests are under immense threat from logging by foreign and national companies, as well as from subsistence farmers returning to their farms and hunters in areas newly opened by logging.

Food: Pygmy hippo feeds on aquatic plants. Feeding normally begins late afternoon and individuals spend an average of 6 hours seeking food. Hippos have multi-chambered stomachs that function like that of ruminants, however they do not chew cud.

Range: Incredibly solitary animal so much so that it was not discovered until 1800’s the pygmy hippopotamus is found in West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.


Information: Gestation period 184—204 days and the female gives birth to a single calf weighing around 11-13 pounds.

Conservation: Through our conservation charities The Sumatran Tiger Trust and The Wildlife Protection Foundation we are working to save species and habitats all over the world.  To find out more check out www.wildlifeprotection.info or www.tigertrust.info