Most Pygmy Hippos now exist in Liberia, according to the IUCN. They are an Endangered Species, and their numbers are still declining.
Table of Contents
1. Description of the body
The Family Hippopotamidae includes the tiny pygmy hippopotamus and the enormous common hippopotamus.
It has a barrel-shaped body, and its skin is either greyish purple or black-brown in hue. The pygmy hippo has short, stocky legs and a broad snout. Its canines and incisors resemble tusks; its toes are split and have sharp claws.
An adult pygmy hippo will stand between 31.5 and 39.4 inches (80-100 cm) tall at the shoulders and weigh between 353 and 595 pounds (160-270 kilograms). Its tail is eight inches (20 cm) long, and its body is between 59.1 and 68.9 inches (150-175 centimeters) from head to rump.
A pygmy hippo consumes just plants. Herbs, broad-leaved plants, grasses, semi-aquatic plants, forbs, tubers, roots, sedges, ferns, and falling fruits make up its diet.
The pygmy hippo starts eating in the late afternoon and grazes throughout the forest until midnight. To reach tall plants, it may stand on its hind legs.
Because of their skilled lips, pygmy hippos can pick up fruits without using their teeth. They prefer food from the land, even though they consume a range of aquatic vegetation. It does not chew its cuds, despite having a multi-chambered stomach similar to a ruminant’s.
3. Range And Habitat
West Africa is the pygmy hippo’s natural habitat. It resides in nations like Liberia and, to a lesser degree, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.
The pygmy hippo is often found in rainforests, swamps, and thickets near rivers and streams. It spends more time on land and is less aquatic than the ordinary hippo.
The Pygmy Hippo is an Endangered species, with just 2,000 to 3,000 remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessment.
According to a survey by the Zoological Society of London, habitat degradation brought on by logging, mining, and agricultural operations, as well as poaching, are the leading causes of their population reduction.
Besides mating or caring for the young, the pygmy hippo lives alone. It is timid and seldom protects its area, usually fleeing when challenged.
They may gather in compact familial units. A female pygmy hippo’s home range is between 100 and 150 acres, but a male is closer to 400 acres. These creatures travel along the same paths as other hippos, leaving their poo in their wake.
The pygmy hippo consumes plants and, while doing so, may be heard up to 150 feet away. The primary natural predators of pygmy hippos are leopards.
Between the ages of 3 and 5, pygmy hippopotamuses develop sexual maturity. The male pygmy hippo unites with a sexually mature female to procreate. When a female is in heat, the couple may copulate up to four times on land or in the water.
The female gives birth to a single calf on the ground after a gestation period of 180 to 210 days.
When developing, this calf may gain between 10.6 and 21.2 ounces (300-600 grams) each day and weigh between 10 and 14 pounds (4.5-6.5 kilograms). A pygmy hippo should live for between 30 and 50 years.