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Clearly defined territories

The hippopotamus spends most of its time in water, as its skin loses moisture too easily in the dry air. It emerges from the water at nightfall to feed on the grassy plains and along the river banks, and eats around 40 kg of vegetation each day. Despite its size and weight, it moves very quickly and unpredictably.

Hippopotamuses live in groups of between 10 and 30 individuals along 100 m stretches of river bank. They occupy clearly defined territories: males deposit their excrement in specific locations and scatter it in every direction using quick tail movements. Some keep the same territory for several years or even a lifetime.

  • Un hippopotame sortant la tête de l'eau au zoo Le PAL
  • Un hippopotame broutant de l'herbe au zoo Le PAL
  • Une famille d'hippopotame au zoo Le PAL
  • Deux hippopotames à la surface de l'eau au zoo Le PAL

Hippopotamuses are found in Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and all of southern Africa.

  • Habitat

    Central and southern Africa. Lives in rivers and lakes surrounded by grassland.

  • Food

    Grass and lowlying gramineae.

Did you know ?

Hippopotamuses fight for up to one and a half hours, sometimes to the death. Their lower canines, which are as sharp as razor blades, measure up to 50 cm long and weigh between 1 kg (females) and 2 kg (males).

At PAL...


A zoological reserve populated by Asian elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, hippos, chimpanzees, gibbons, wolves, ostriches ... Animals evolving in their reconstituted natural environment, to discover as a family.

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