World Hippo Day

World Hippo Day is observed annually on February 15 and celebrates an animal that is widely considered the second-largest land mammal in the world. These massive beasts can weigh anywhere from 2,900 to 4,000 pounds, stand approximately 4.3 to 5.4 feet tall, and have a top running speed of 19 miles per hour.

They also have a bite force of 12,600 kPa, which is significantly more than a lion’s bite force of 4,500 kPa. These traits make the hippo one of the deadliest animals in Africa, with over 500 people being killed by them every year. So, this means that while we’re showing hippos some love on this day, we also have to make sure to show them respect.

The History of World Hippo Day

Unfortunately, we’re unsure of exactly when this holiday was created. We believe that it was created sometime around 2001, but we’ve been unable to independently verify that information. This isn’t uncommon with holidays centered around raising awareness about a particular animal, so we’ll continue to try to find its origin. Hopefully, someday we will.

Important Facts About Hippos

We wanted to list some important facts about hippos below, so we did a little bit of research. What we uncovered was a list of facts that we feel will inform everyone about hippos and encourage them to think about these beasts, if not every day, then at least on this holiday.

  • Hippos are semi-aquatic mammals with grey to mud-brown skin.
  • The only land animal larger than them is the elephant.
  • Hippos spend most of their day in rivers and lakes to stay cool.
  • In just one night, a hippo can eat over 35 kilograms of grass.
  • Hippos can submerge and hold their breath for up to 5 minutes.
  • Wild hippos have a lifespan of about 40 years.

Observing World Hippo Day

This holiday can be observed by taking the time to learn more about the hippos and the challenges they now face. They are currently listed as a vulnerable species, and it’s been estimated that their numbers have declined by as much as 20% over the past decade.

Poaching and loss of habitat are some of the reasons for their decline. So on this day, people can take the time to donate money to animal organizations that attempt to help hippos around the world. People can also help by spreading the word about this holiday around the world using the hashtag #WorldHippoDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 15 Thursday
Next year (2025)
February 15 Saturday
Last year (2023)
February 15 Wednesday