Africa Geographic : Hooray for hippos

Published : 12 Feb, 2016

Africa Geographic just published an awesome post about hippos on the blog. Please visit urgently their blog at this address

We are rebloging their first page, mentioning Karen and her passion for saving hippos in the Turgwe River.




Like many large mammals in Africa, hippos are in trouble due to the usual bevy of problems – including loss of habitat, climate change, and human conflict.

An estimation of hippo populations, according to the IUCN red list, indicates a 7-20% overall decline in the last decade alone. And the largest population decline has occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is a country that was once believed to boast some of the largest hippo populations in Africa. At the moment hippos may only be listed as ‘Vulnerable’, but at this current rate of decline this could change quite rapidly.

A recent assessment suggests that only between 125,000 and 148,000 common hippos remain in 29 countries across the entire continent, which places the hippo population in Africa at approximately a quarter of the overall elephant population.

And it doesn’t just stop there, as their smaller West African cousin – the pygmy hippo – is also under threat, and has been classified as an endangered species by the Zoological Society of London. Half the height and weighing less than a quarter of an adult hippopotamus, it has been estimated that there are only around 2,000 pygmy hippos left in the wild, with numbers declining as their habitat is destroyed and they are hunted for bushmeat.

Taking these figures into consideration, it is clear that it is time for a greater focus on hippos – a major player in the African ecosystem.

To learn more about these fascinating creatures and how to help them, just visit Africa Geographic blog and hit ‘next’ buttons.

And to find out more about this week’s author, Karen Paolillo, and the incredible conservation work that is being done at Turgwe Hippo Trust to save the hippos, head to the last page of this gallery.

Cover image provided by Will Burrard-Lucas for Norman Carr Safaris


If not done, please donate to the trust to buy hay for feeding the hippos or adopt a hippo as a gift.


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  1. Kevin Lenahan

    Great article, very informative and it shows how important your work with the hippos is Karen.Lovely photos too!

    • karen paolillo

      Thank you Kevin and I must say it was great to be asked to write this article for African Geographic. They did not use my own photos but the ones they did use are superb especially like the cover with the hippo in black and white. Love Karen and the hippos

  2. Anna Tolan

    Congratulations Karen! I hope the article raises a fresh awareness of the importance of hippos and their increasingly threatened status. I also hope it raises some much needed donations for the Turgwe hippos in this wretched Southern African drought.

    • karen paolillo

      Thank you Anna for your comment and yes me too I hope that people do realise how important hippos are to the eco system. Yes funds are needed as at this rate we will need to feed for over 11 months until decent rains hopefully in December Love to you and Steve and darling Douglas hippo xx


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