The hippopotamus (Greek, river horse) is a ponderous aquatic quadruped. Of the three huge hog-like animals of Africa, the ugliest and most forbidding is its river-horse. It is about five feet high. The body is shaped not unlike that of an elephant or a rhinoceros, and is rather between them in weight. The skin is about two inches thick on the back and sides, and is almost hairless, but is lubricated by a sort of oil exuded through the pores. The legs are ponderous and very short. The feet are broad. Each terminates in four separately hoofed toes. The head is enormous. The eyes are set well up, so that the hippopotamus can raise them above the water without exposing much of its head. The snout is large, having swollen lips and a set of large front teeth. The canine teeth are curved forward. They furnish ivory of superior quality, reaching a length of two feet and a weight of about six pounds each.
   The hippopotamus is a good swimmer, and is able to dive, remaining under water for a considerable length of time. The young hippopotamus, pink, and as fat as a pig, rides on his mother's shoulders. He is a good diver too. When he wants his dinner he plunges beneath his mother's body. He seems able to remain there an indefinite length of time. The hippopotamus conceals itself in the water during the day time, and ranges abroad in herds at night for vegetable food. It is considered exceedingly destructive. It is found only in the rivers and ponds of Africa. It was forrnerly abundant and was much hunted by the natives both for its flesh and for ivory, but its range has lately been restricted to the upper Nile and to interior, inaccessible waters.
   The hippopotamus was shown in Europe for the first time about 1850. The huge, waddling, three-ton hippopotamus is entirely too large for capture and transportation. The hippopotamus of the menagerie is taken when small and is reared for show purposes. The hunters in their canoes catch sight of a likely chap riding on his mother's back in the river. They close in and kill the mother with a harpoon. When her struggles are over they capture the little fellow, who stays by his mother's side, squealing to the last. They put him in a tank cage and supply him with goat's milk. When old enough to live on a partly veg­etable diet he is shipped over seas, probably to Hamburg. With proper care the young prisoner becomes quite friendly and playful. The business of hunting the hip­popotamus is not without danger. When infuriated by wounds or pursuit the adult rushes upon the hunters, and is quite capable of crushing the largest rowboat with a single snap of the jaws. The unlucky hunter who comes in the way meets the same fate.