Hippopotamuses life span
In case you didn’t know, the hippopotamus is a phrase that comes from the Greek language meaning river horse. They are one of the largest land animals in the world and contrary to popular belief, they are quite ill-tempered. According to official statistics, hippopotamuses kill more people than any wild animal. The main reason is that they are very territorial animals and they will defend their territory at all costs.
Where do hippos live?
Hippos naturally live in East Africa. People have always been fascinated by these animals and they were one of the most respected animals in Ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, humans are continuously reducing their natural habitat making hippos very vulnerable.
How long do hippopotamuses live?
Hippopotamuses have a relatively long life expectancy. Namely, according to official statistics, their lifespan is between 40 and 50 years. Of course, just like in the case of other wild animals, their lifespan depends on their habitat. If they are living in the wilderness, they have a shorter life expectancy of around 30 years. On the other hand, hippos that live in captivity can easily reach 50 years. As a matter of fact, the oldest hippopotamus on record was known as Tanga and she died when she was 61 years old. She spent most of her life in captivity in Germany.
Factors that affect the lifespan of hippos
One of the main factors that affect the lifespan of hippos is their diet. These incredible animals are herbivores. What is interesting is that they can eat between 100 and 150 pounds of vegetation on a daily basis. However, it is very difficult to find these amounts of food in their natural habitats every day. When they don’t eat sufficient amount of food, they have problems with nutrients. This problem eventually speeds up the aging process and leaves consequences on many bodily systems in these animals. Of course, when they are kept in captivity (usually in zoos or some special sanctuaries), hippos receive all the nutrients they need. That’s why their life expectancy is extended for 30-40%. While we are talking about hippopotamuses in captivity it is also good to mention that some studies suggest that hippos are less stressed in captivity, but only if the environment is pleasant. This means that they know that they cannot be targeted by other animals and that’s why they are peaceful.
Experts suggest that another reason why hippos in the wilderness leave shorter lives is he fact that they are attacked by other animals. However, these attacks are happening only when the hippos are still young. Lions, crocodiles, and few other animals sometimes attack baby hippos. These frequent deaths lower their life expectancy. But, when hippopotamuses are fully grown they have only two enemies – humans and other hippos.
Needless to say, hippos can get ill and since they can’t get proper treatment, they die younger. When they are in captivity they get all the necessary treatments that can extend their lives and help them solve the problem.
In short, hippopotamuses are amazing animals with interesting behavior and temperament and they can live around 50 years when the conditions are ideal.