Meet the Hippo

The Louisville Zoo’s Gorilla Forest is home to a family of pygmy hippos. Pygmy hippos are a smaller version of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). Pygmy hippos are only half as tall as the common hippopotamus and weigh less than 1/4 of its much larger cousin. There are noticeable physical differences between the two species. The pygmy hippo’s head is more rounded and the eyes are set on the side of the head rather than the front. It has well-separated toes with sharp nails, unlike the common hippopotamus which has webbed feet. Pygmy hippos are believed to be extinct in Nigeria and are listed as endangered according to IUCN.



Sept. 16, 1993 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Joined the Louisville Zoo in 2002 from the National Zoo in Washington.