Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is an African artiodactyl mammal leading a water and land lifestyle – they spend almost 80% of their life in the water. It is therefore not surprising that they inhabit rivers and lakes. They are vegetarians, which does not prevent them from achieving an impressive weight - up to 2 tonnes, with approximately 2.5 m in body length.
Pregnancy lasts 240 days, and the female gives birth to one young under water, which it lovingly takes care of – the young suckles the mother for a period of one year, also from under the water.
The jaws of the hippopotamus can open very wide, reaching an angle of 150 degrees. The large male canines are used for fighting to show dominance and scare away potential mating rivals.
Tidbit! They are genetically closer to the whale than elephant!
Three individuals occupying the run with a swimming pool in the East Africa part of the Afrykarium live in our zoo. It is a mother and daughter - Salsa and Rumba, and a newcomer from Prague, Valecek. Our ladies love baths and water massages from the waterfalls, but Valecek does not shun performances in front of visitors and happily gallops along the glass while doing somersaults. It is worth seeing!
ZUMBA, which was born on 21 May 2016, is now the latest and biggest attraction. Her mother is 21-year-old Rumba. It is also a granddaughter of Samba, the first hippo born in Poland, in our zoo, after the World War II.
The world's smallest antelopes – the Dikdik – are neighbours to the hippos. In August 2016, we at long last had another birth, after Elvis and Lenon last year, this time we are hoping for a female.