Animal Wildlife | Pygmy Hippopotamus | The pygmy hippopotamus is a large, herbivorous mammal natively found in the forests and swamps of western Africa. The pygmy hippopotamus is one of two species of hippopotamus, and is similar in appearance to it's larger cousin. The pygmy hippopotamus is found in the forests and swamps of west Africa. where the pygmy hippopotamus is a solitary and reclusive animal that spends most of the day resting in a wallow, mud or river before emerging at night when the pygmy hippopotamus comes out of the water to graze.
The pygmy hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic animal and so has adapted over time to it's water-based lifestyle. The eyes of the pygmy hippopotamus are situated on the top of it's head so that the pygmy hippopotamus can still watch over it's surroundings when it's body is submerged in the cooling water. The pygmy hippopotamus also has slightly webbed feet, which help the pygmy hippopotamus when it is walking on muddy river bottoms and up slippery banks. The webbed feet of the pygmy hippopotamus surprisingly don't mean that it has a disadvantage on land, as the pygmy hippopotamus is able to reach speeds of 30mph when running on land. The pygmy hippopotamus is a herbivorous animal that eats only plant matter in order to survive. The pygmy hippopotamus eats aquatic plants and grasses along with reeds, leaves and grass on land.
The large size of the pygmy hippopotamus means that it has very few natural predators in the wild. Crocodiles and large wild cats are the most common predators of the pygmy hippopotamus calves, along with humans who have hunted the pygmy hippopotamus and also deforest it's natural habitat. The pygmy hippopotamus breeds all round the year, and females gives birth to a single pygmy hippopotamus calf after a gestation period of around 6 months. Unlike the common hippopotamus that mates and gives birth in the water, the female pygmy hippopotamus gives birth to her calf on land. Today, the pygmy hippopotamus is an endangered species as the pygmy hippopotamus population numbers have been drastically declining primarily as a result of habitat loss caused by deforestation and pollution. Illegal hunting of the pygmy hippopotamus has also led to severe declines in their population numbers.
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