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Hippopotamus Facts

Henry is a Hippopotamus. He lives with his friends in the Savannas of Africa. The savannas are large open spaces which are covered in grassland. The trees have an open canopy which helps light reach the ground vegetation.

The name Hippopotamus means river horse. They were named this by the Greeks as they spend up to 16 hours submerged under water. They can hold their breath for an impressive 5 minutes and are also brilliant swimmers. In the heat of the mid day sun, Henry likes to spend his time relaxing in the cool river waters.

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Henry is only 5 years old which is young for a hippopotamus as they can live up to 50 years old. The oldest captive hippopotamus died at the age of 58. The first known ancestors of the Hippopotamus evolved more than 55 million years.

Once the sun sets, the cool air of the night allows Henry to come out of the water and graze across the land. He will eat roughly 88lb (40kg) of grass a night. Hippos will roam around 5 miles of their territory to feed. Even though a hippopotamus only eats grass they can weigh up to 8000lb (3600kg).

Hippopotamuses are classed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list. This is mainly due to habitat loss and being hunted for meat and the ivory which is found in their teeth. Agricultural development in Africa has put a strain on fresh water environments, this means that the rivers and lakes that Hippos live in are being used to grow crops. Fresh water is limited in the African Savanna, this makes it highly competitive for humans and wildlife.

If you would like information on how to help protect African wildlife then please visit the Wildlife Conservation Society – https://www.wcs.org/our-work/places/africa

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Henry the Hula Hooping Hippo

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