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Handrearing of a hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) at “Fundación Refugio Salvaje”


The Nile hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic mammal with populations that have decreased in the last 10 years, which is why it has been placed in CITES Appendix II, and as vulnerable on the IUCN red list. The artificial breeding of hippos is poorly documented, possibly due to the complexity that this species presents. The Wild Refuge Foundation (FURESA) located in El Salvador, C.A. has kept a pair of Nile hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) in its facilities. Both specimens have enjoyed good health and have procreated three pups, which died between 3 and 5 days after birth, considering little maternal attention as the main cause of deaths. Due to the above situations, artificial breeding was decided for this occasion. Housing conditions, medical history, feeding techniques and diet, which were used in this breeding, are described.


hand-rearing, captive hippopotamus, hippopotamus amphibious