We’re traveling around the globe to Africa today to visit the massive and unpredictable animal - the River Horse aka hippopotamus. These misunderstood creatures are fascinating to see in person and can be found at Busch Gardens Tampa. If you’d like to know more about them and where to see them here are five fun facts about the animal:
Hippos are big
Hippos are the third largest living land mammals, after elephants and white rhinos. They grow between 10.8 and 16.5 feet long and up to 5.2 feet tall at the shoulder. The average female weighs around 3,000 pounds, while males come in between 3,500 to 9,920 pounds.
Hippos like water
The animals live in sub-Saharan Africa in areas with abundant water. Hippos spend most of their time, up to 16 hours a day, submerged to keep their skin cool and moist. Though they like being in water they cannot swim. Hippos glide through the water by pushing themselves off other objects. They can stay under water for up to 5 minutes.
Hippos are social
Hippos like being around other hippos. They hang out in groups called schools, bloats, pods or sieges. Schools of hippos usually consist of 10 to 30 members but can sometimes be up to 200. The school is usually led by a dominant male.
Hippos are loud
Their snorts, grumbles and wheezes have been measured at 115 decibels! They use subsonic vocalizations to communicate.
Hippos are aggressive
Hippos can be extremely unpredictable and because of that are considered very dangerous. They have large teeth and tusks that are used for fighting off threats, including humans. Sometimes their own young fall victim to adult hippos’ fights and can be seriously injured or even crushed.
You can find these massive creatures in the Edge of Africa area of Busch Gardens Tampa. Watch the animals as they swim, eat and lounge. And for a more in-depth look take the Heart of Africa Tour and experience up-close encounters with hippos (but not too close) and lions.