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  • Location: Mpala Ranch, Laikipia County, Kenya, East Africa
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  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing hippos and river wildlife at Mpala Ranch, Kenya, East Africa. Visiting animals include bushbuck, eland, oryx, waterbuck, gerenuk, kudu, lions and elephants. Mpala Ranch is not just a research station, it is also a working cattle ranch.

More info: The hippopotamus, also called the hippo, common hippopotamus or river hippopotamus, is found in East Africa, south of the Sahara. The other much smaller species of hippo is the pygmy hippopotamus which has a very limited habitat in West Africa. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.

Hippos are semi–aquatic, spending time both on land and in water. They gather in groups (pods) of up to 30 animals or more depending on the water level and season. Hippo pods consist mainly of cows and young hippos with a matriarch and a dominant, territorial bull in control of a stretch of river. Single bulls are also often found. Cows with very young calves often stay on their own for a few months before re-joining the pod.

Hippos need permanent open water like rivers, dams, or pools where they can submerge. During the day, hippos spend their time in water to keep cool. In the winter months and cooler weather they will also be seen resting on river banks. They emerge at dusk to graze.

Every year across Africa, hippos kill an estimated 500 people, making them the world’s deadliest mammal, after humans, and nearly twice as deadly as lions. Hippopotamuses are herbivories and rarely bother other animals. But males can become aggressive if they sense danger. Mothers may attack to protect their young. And nearly all hippos become nervous when something—or someone—stands between them and the water where they live.