Zorg voor jonge dieren
A single young is born either on land or in shallow water. In
water, the mother helps the newborn to the surface, later
teaching it to swim. Newly born hippos are relatively small,
weighing from 55 to 120 pounds, and are protected by their
mothers, not only from crocodiles and lions but from male hippos
that, oddly enough, do not bother them on land but attack them
Young hippos can only stay under water for about half a
minute, but adults can stay submerged up to six minutes. Young
hippos can suckle under water by taking a deep breath, closing
their nostrils and ears and wrapping their tongue tightly around
the teat to suck. This procedure must be instinctive, because
newborns suckle the same way on land. A young hippo begins to
eat grass at 3 weeks, but its mother continues to suckle it for
about a year. Newborns often climb on their mothers' backs to
Compared to other animals, hippos are not very susceptible to
disease, so in suitable habitats, their numbers can increase
quickly. Their chief predators are people, who may hunt hippos
for their meat, hides and ivory teeth.
Wist je dat?
- The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek "hippos,"
meaning horse, these animals were once called "river horses."
But the hippo is more closely related to the pig than the
- Hippos spend most of their day in water close to shore
lying on their bellies. In areas undisturbed by people, hippos
lie on the shore in the morning sun.