Estimated Wild Population
Pygmy hippopotamuses were named for their relatively diminuitive stature compared to their much larger cousin, but these semi-aquatic mammals can still reach six feet in length and 600 pounds in weight. Their gray skin is smooth except for bristles on their lips and tail. Pygmy hippos spend much of their time in the water, as their skin dries out without frequent moisture. At night, they venture into the forest in search of plants and fruit.
Interesting Fact 1
Their eyes, ears, and nose are located on the top of their head, enabling them to see, smell, and hear while the rest of their body is underwater.
Interesting Fact 2
Their skin secretes a red substance, giving rise to the legend that they sweat blood. In reality, the substance acts as a natural sunblock.
Interesting Fact 3
Pygmy hippos can pinch their ears and nostrils closed when diving underwater.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.