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Where Do Hippos Live? Hippo In Water

Hippos can be found in the wild on the continent of Africa.  They may be found in swampy areas, lakes, rivers, and streams.   There are two species of hippo, the Large Hippo and the Pygmy Hippo.

The first species of hippo is the Large Hippo or Common Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius), which is found in East Africa, south of the Sahara.  The large hippo is now extinct north of Khartoum and south of the Zambezi river, except in a few protected areas such as the Kruger National Park.  The large hippo is a gregarious, group-living mammal, and it is so numerous in some areas where it is still found that "cropping" schemes are used to control populations that have become larger than the habitat can sustain.

The second species of hippo is the Pygmy Hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis), which may now only be found in the wild in very restricted ranges in West Africa.  The Pygmy Hippo now only lives in forest stream areas in Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and possibly part of southern Nigeria (though it may be extinct there).  The numbers of pygmy hippos are unknown, but they probably total a few thousand at the most.  It is described as "vulnerable" amongst the threatened animals of the world.  Although numbers have probably declined recently, there is not, as yet, enough evidence to classify the Pygmy Hippo as "endangered."  The Pygmy Hippo is a solitary forest dweller and considered to be shy compared to its Large Hippo brother.

Did You Know?

> The common hippopotamus is the second largest living land animal, rivalled only by the great Indian rhinoceros (the elephant is the largest).

Much of the information provided on this page may be found on the following websites.  Please visit them to learn more about hippos and to learn what you may be able to do to help preserve the precious hippo populations that remain.

National Geographic (specifically the facts page provided by "Young Peoples Trust for the Environment")

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