The common hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two still existing species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus. The name comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse”. After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl.


Different from all other large land mammals, hippos are of semiaquatic habits, spending the day in lakes and rivers. At night and the early mornings hippos will leave the pool to graze on land and will become very aggressive out of the water. Hippos are the one of the deadliest animals in Africa and are responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal.  Hippos can run up to 19 miles per hour with spurts up to 30 miles an hour on land.