Hippopotamus

Least concern

Jules is the park's hippopotamus. He's been at the Parc Animalier d'Auvergne since 1996!


Scientific name : Hippopotamus amphibius

Where do they live?

Along the rivers and lakes of intertropical Africa near muddy freshwater.

Did you know?

No need for suncream!
Its skin secretes an oily, reddish liquid sometimes called "blood sweat". Initially colourless, this substance turns orange-red after a few minutes, before eventually turning brown. This liquid protects hippos from the sun: it dries out of the water to form a protective crust. The secretion also helps fight against infections.

The hippopotamus is one of the largest species of land mammals, after elephants and rhinoceroses. They can live at an elevation of up to 2000 m. and lived for a long time on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya. They usually live in groups of 10 to 15 individuals near watering holes. This is no coincidence: the water helps them deal with the heat. Hippos are semi-aquatic: they can see and hear underwater and can stay up to 15 minutes without resurfacing!
Behind their peaceful demeanour is an animal that should not be disturbed! Many other animals rightly fear the hippo. When it charges, it can reach speeds of 30 km/h and its mouth opens to 150°, a particularly impressive feat!

Height

1.5 m at the withers.

Length

4.5m long.

Weight

Up to 4 tonnes.

Diet

They eat 50 kg of vegetation per day .

Life expectancy

The record in captivity is 54 years old .

Birth weight

A baby weighs nearly 40 kg at birth and 10 times more at the end of their first year.

Keep up hope

Burundi, a friendly country for hippos

This small country is home to around 1,500 hippos. At certain times of the year, they take over the streets of the capital to graze on the lawns at night. Here, humans and hippos live together in harmony.