Animal Facts

  • Genus:

    Hippopotamus
  • Species:

    Hippopotamus amphibius
  • Conservation
    Status:

    Vulnerable

  • Found In:

    Africa
  • Weight:

    1,300-1,500kg

Meet our happy hippos!

Nile Hippopotamuses, Susie and Brutus are two of Adelaide Zoo’s most popular residents!

Brutus was born on 18 May 1965 and Susie on 30 December 1967, both at Taronga Zoo and moved to Adelaide Zoo together in 1975. During her time at Adelaide Zoo, Susie mothered 17 calves and has offspring living across Australia. Both hippos love their daily teeth clean, which gives zoo keepers a chance to check the pairs’ ginormous mouths for lodged food. Each hippo is fed roughly a bale of hay daily and an assortment of leafy greens, Susie especially loves fresh grass, while Brutus’ favourite treat is pumpkin.

The easiest way to tell these two gentle giants apart is by comparing the size of their heads, Brutus’ is much larger and Susie has hairy ears!

Brutus and Susie have a great relationship and are enjoying their twilight years playing in the water and chasing each other.

Although they once inhabited Asia and Europe, the Common Hippopotamus is now restricted to rivers and lakes of sub-Saharan Africa.

Hippos are more at home in the water than they are on land. They are nocturnal, spending the majority of their day in the water, venturing onto land at night to graze.

The male hippo is a solitary and territorial animal, whereas females and young hippos live in social groups consisting of anywhere from 10 to 100 animals.

The primary threats to hippos is illegal and unregulated hunting for meat, the ivory trade and habitat loss due to their reliance on freshwater that puts them at odds with human populations and the growing pressure on freshwater resources across Africa. The Common Hippopotamus is classed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Love hippos? Join our herd and ensure hippos can enjoy their wild watery home for generations to come! There are many ways you can help support these big, beautiful creatures. 

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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction and connect people with nature.

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