Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius
Family: Hippopotamidae
Masai Mara, at the Mara River (on the border between Kenya and Tanzania)

Unmistakable. A huge, fat animal, weight around 1500 kg or more, with short legs and a barrel shaped body. The head is enormous with a broad muzzle and a short neck. Females are similar to the male but smaller.

They lives in permanent waters like streams, lakes and ponds which are bordered by grassland. The Hippos are gregarious and sedentary and lives in herds of 5-15 heads which are attached to a particular place. They are well adopted to live in water, being good swimmers and divers. Their specific density is higher than that of water and therefore they can walk on the bottom.

They spend the entire day sleeping on the sandbanks or in the water, often accompanied by different birds who perch on their back. At dusk they leave the water and their territory to graze at the nearby grassland. They feed almost exclusively on grass of which one single animal can eat 60 kg in one night.

Despite their placid appearance they fight very fiercely with each other. They are also dangerous to man, specially when cornered or wounded. Young animal is preyed upon by lions and crocodiles.