Can You Keep a Hippopotamus as your Pet?

Keeping a hippopotamus as a pet can sound exciting to some people. But can you actually own it as a pet? The answer is no. It is not a good idea to keep a hippopotamus as your pet simply because they are a double animal and the need to take care of them properly is enormous. Hippos need ample space; we’re talking acres of land to get across, and they have a huge appetite. Not only that, but they also need a lot of water to keep them cool. For an animal to be your pet, it must be domesticated and regularly bred to keep the “wildness” out of its natural state. 

How Much Does a Hippopotamus Even Cost?

If our answer above does not convince you and you’re still considering getting a hippo as a pet, you must have a lot of money first before you can keep one. Keeping a hippo as a pet can cost you a lot. You need to have at least $100,000 to get yourself one. They do not come at a low price because they are very rare, and they are illegal to keep as pets. According to zoologist Margaret Asencio, you must actually have to show that you own a zoo and get all the zoo’s permission before you even get yourself a hippo. 

What is the Right Habitat for a Hippopotamus?

As we mentioned, hippos will need a large enclosure or ample space where you can let them roam. You may also want to give them a 20-acre lake where they can feel like they are in their natural habitat. This is because they can easily get dehydrated during the day. When the sun is warm, hippos will need to sleep in the water and socialize with other hippos. They are great swimmers, and they can stay underwater for over five minutes. 

What Does a Hippopotamus Eat?

Hippos are herbivores, and this means that they only eat vegetables. However, they emerge from the water to eat at night, and they can consume up to a hundred pounds of food per meal. In addition, hippos like to travel up to six miles from their watering hole to find something to eat. So if you still want to keep a hippo as a pet, be prepared to buy about $50 worth of vegetables every day, which means that you will be spending up to $18,250 a year just for your hippo’s food. 


If you have a lake on your property, then keeping a hippo may not be so bad because waterways’ movement will help keep your hippos refreshed. But, if you have a closed system, then it will be a tough cleaning job, and it will require an expensive filtration system to keep the water clean.

Hippos are known to be invading and aggressive creatures. They have enough strength in their jaws to crush your bones. Hippos are known to be responsible for human casualties than any other large animals in Africa. That is why it is not advisable to keep them as a pet. Not only that, keeping just one hippo is not enough because it will be unhappy because they like to socialize with other hippos. 

Hippos may look nice and friendly, just like any other animals, but they also need attention and care. If you ever decide to keep one as a pet, make sure to keep their habitat clean, give them a lot of space to roam, make sure that they have plenty of food and water.