Welcome, Mara the Hippo!
A new female hippopotamus arrives to the Honolulu Zoo from Los Angeles.
The Honolulu Zoo has a new resident: a female hippopotamus named Mara.
She arrived on Wednesday from the Los Angeles Zoo and joins 30-year-old Louise, the zoo’s current resident hippo, in the African Savanna exhibit.
Mara is 18 years old and weighs a whopping 3,610 pounds.
“We were able to get a female companion for Louise, who’s been alone for awhile,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos, in a video provided by the city. “ So we hope she has company now.”
Here are some fun facts about hippos:
- Hippos are the second-largest land animals on Earth—behind elephants and close to rhinos—and can weigh 1.5 to 4 tons. That’s as heavy as three small cars!
- Hippos are herbivores, which mean they eat plants. Actually, they eat mostly grass; in just one night, they can eat up to 75 pounds of it.
- Hippopotamuses is Greek for “river horse,” which is fitting since they love water so much. They’re not related to horses at all. Instead, their closest relatives are whales and dolphins.
- Hippos can spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes—this is to help them stay cool in the intense African heat. They’re also good swimmers and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes.
- Hippos can live up to 40 years old in the wild. In captivity, they tend to live longer, up to 50 years old.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature has the hippopotamus listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.