• Status
  • Population
    115,000 to 130,000
  • Scientific Name
    Hippopotamus amphibius

The hippopotamus, also known as the “river horse,” lives along the rivers and lakes throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Weighing up to 8,000 pounds, the hippo is the heaviest land animal after the elephant. Hippos seek refuge from the heat by living in water during the day, and at night they come ashore to feed on short, soft grasses and fallen fruit. The eyes and ears of a hippopotamus are on top of its head, so it can keep watch for enemies—mainly crocodiles—while lying low in the water. These giants are currently at risk from habitat loss.

The world's most widespread invasive species

With its six violet petals, yellow “eye,” and glossy leaves, the water hyacinth makes quite an impression.
A hippo peeking out of water vegetation