Hippopotamus
(Hippopotamus amphibius)
Afrikaans
Zulu
: Seekoei.
: Mvubu
Mass  
Gestation
Life span
Mating season
: Male 3 ton,  Female  1,5 ton
: 8 months - 1 calf
: 45 years.
: During dry season.
Calves are suckled for 8 months.Mothers leave the herds to give birth, in water or land, and rejoins the herd after 10-14 days.
Males are sexually mature at 7 years, and females at 9 years. They live in groups of 10-15 animals. Grazing is done mostly at night, and it is been said that they can consume up to 180kg of grass in one night (although rare). It has a non-ruminating, three chambered stomach. The yawning motion that is often observed, is a intimidation behaviour towards other herd members.
They are important animals to keep water ways open. When lying in the sun during the day, it is often noticed that the skin becomes red. That is a liquid in the body that will rise to the surface to prevent sunburn.
The males have longer tasks then the female, and it is been said that the quality of the ivory of that task is better than that of the Elephant, Contrary to believe that the Hippo eats only grass, it has been recorded that a calf within the herd was killed, and eaten by the other herd members. The Hippo can remain submerge for about 5-6 minutes. Most of the time, it walks on the river bed instead of swimming, and can reach a speed of 12 km under water. In Africa, more humans have been killed by Hippo's than by any other animal. It is known to charge campfires.
                               
                         
If the mother gives birth to a female calf, she will introduce the new born to the herd after about 2 weeks. If the new born is an male, it can take up to 3 months, as the adult male's in the herd will see the youngster as a future threat for dominance, and can kill it.
Game Drives through the parks