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Pygmy hippopotammus

Phoeropsis liberiensis

Although at first glance pygmy hippos may appear to be the offspring of the common hippopotamus, they actually have morphological differences due to their different lifestyles.

They have a solitary behaviour, tending to live independently or in very small groups, formed by pairs or by a mother and her calf.

It is a semi-aquatic animal, frequently resorting to water to keep its skin moist and reduce the impact of high temperatures. But at night it tends to stay on land.

They do not usually exceed 83 centimetres in height.

Up to 275 kg


West Africa

200 days

Interesting facts about pygmy hippos

Visitors often mistaken them for common hippopotamus calves.

They are quite difficult to observe and monitor in the wild. It is very rare to spot them in the wild.

Their sweat has a reddish colour. This is due to a pigment present in their secretions that protects them from the sun and prevents the infection of superficial skin wounds

How we help the conservation of pygmy hippos

Today, pygmy hippos are an endangered species. Hunting for their meat and tusks has drastically reduced the wild population. It is estimated that there under 3000 pygmy hippos in the wild.

Modern zoos, such as Loro Parque, play an essential role in their conservation and study.