You will find a group of Hippos living in the lakes and rivers. Sometimes the groups are very small with only
about five members. They can be as large at to have thirty members though. It depends on if there is enough room
for their basic needs to be met. They do like to live in deep bodies of water. When they have young, the mothers
will often carry them on their backs so that they aren’t so far below the surface of the water to get to air.
There are two species of Hippos and they prefer different types of habitat. For the Common Hippo, they live
mainly in the Eastern part of Africa around the Sahara. They are the more aggressive type of Hippo and the ones
that are often known to be eating the crops that villagers have planted for their own needs.
They are found living in clean bodies of water that don’t move very fast. They do like it deep enough for their
bodies, but not too deep. They also prefer a bottom that is easy for them to move around in. If there are many
rocks it can be something that slows down the Hippos and even injures them as they move around.
The habitat for the Pygmy Hippos is different as they like to live in the swamplands. They like water that is
murky and they don’t care if it is deep or if it has rocks at the bottom of it. However, they are smaller in weight
so that could be part of the reason why such factors aren’t a burden to their movements.
The number of Pygmy Hippos living in the wild today is extremely small. They continue to have their surroundings
invaded by villagers that want to plant crops or that need more living space due to their growing populations.
Today you will find them only in the forest area of the Western part of Africa.
Even if you don’t seem to really care about Hippos, you need to be aware of what they contribute to their
ecosystem. Without them being part of the habitat out there, imbalance and chaos would result. This could lead to
future population problems for many animals – for some it can even mean future extinction. Preserving the natural
habitat out there of the Hippo should be a concern for everyone. The rippling effect can adversely affect everyone
and every animal.
You will find that many Hippos live in captivity. Yet very seldom are they taken from the wild anymore for this
purpose. Instead, those that are born into captivity are often going to spend their entire life that way. Hippos do
very well in captivity and most of the zoos have Pygmy Hippos to help keep their numbers up.
Many experts would love to experiment with the idea of introducing some of the young Hippos that are in
captivity back into the wild. Yet what has been observed out there is that the remaining Pygmy’s are fighting for
enough living space in the water and enough food on land as it is. Adding more of them at this point in time isn’t
a realistic solution to consider.
The fact that we have only began to really understand all that takes place in a Hippo habitat is part of that
equation as well. Until we know the entire process inside and out we won’t be able to come up with some good plans
for increasing the number of Hippos in the wild. However, right now we do need to focus some attention on making
sure the current numbers don’t continue to plunge.