The Pygmy Hippopotamus

By: Josh Moy

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What is a pygmy hippo

The pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippomatid native to the forests and swamps of West Africa. It is reclusive and nocturnal. The pygmy hippo is a herbivore, and can mate on land or water. It relies on water to keep its body cool and moist, deeming it semi-aquatic. Pygmy hippos like to live alone or in small group, truly being a reclusive species.


Pygmy Hippos are threatened by loss of habitats, poaching, and natural predators. As humans raze down forests for wood, the pygmy's habitats are also razed down. Pygmy hippos are also hunted for bush meat and are on Liberia's illegally hunted food sources list. Because the Pygmy are facing extinction, multiple conservation efforts have been formed to save the pygmy. One such organization is the Save Our Species project ( SOS ). SOS unites conservationists around the world to spot and save pygmy hippos via hidden cameras. Scientists from Njala University in Sierra Leone set out to find Pygmy locations in Sierra Leone and to establish possible conservation centers. Pygmy Hippos have a better chance of surviving in captivity than they do out in the wild.