You’re about to read some of the most interesting pygmy hippo facts. The pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) is mainly found in the swamps of Africa. It is a very shy animal and largely becomes active at night. Pygmy hippos are very small hippopotamuses. Whales are thought to be the closest cousins of hippos.
Pygmy Hippo Facts for Kids
Adult hippos have a shoulder height of 75–100 cm with a body length reaching at 150–175 cm. Pygmy hippos weigh about 397 – 606 pounds.
Where Do Pygmy Hippos Live? The pygmy hippo lives in Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. Pygmy hippos likely make habitats in secondary forests, tree swamps, gallery forests, and streams.
The behavior of a pygmy hippo resembles that of a tapir. They likely spend daylight hours hidden in rivers, swamps, underground hollows, and wallows. At times they do live in dens.
What Do Pygmy Hippos Eat? Pygmy hippos begin to hunt in the early hours of the night. They will browse dense vegetation searching for food. Like other hippos, pygmy hippos are also herbivores. The hippo eats fruits, broad-leaf plants, tender, roots, young trees, herbs, fallen fruits, okra, leaves of sweet potato, pepper plants, rice plantations, vegetables, grasses, and ferns.
Hippos generally spend 5 to 6 hours on feeding.
They will attain the maturity at 5 years age. The female gives birth to 1 – 2 cubs after a gestation period of 190 – 210 days. Young hippos weigh 10 – 13 pounds at birth.
In captivity the pygmy hippo can live as long as 35 to 40 years.
Pygmy hippos are losing grounds to the illegal human hunting, poaching, logging, and agriculture. The overall remaining population of pygmy hippos is estimated at 3,000 individuals. The IUCN has listed the pygmy hippopotamus as an endangered species.