Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) & Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choerpsis liberiensis) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

History in Managed Care

  • Around 3500 B.C., hippos were apparently maintained in a private zoo along with elephants and baboons in the ancient Egyptian city of Hierakonpolis (Rose 2010).
  • First exhibited in the London Zoo in 1850
  • Paris zoo first exhibited in 1853




  • Common in many large zoos
    • Easy to keep and breed
    • Resistant to disease

Hippos at the San Diego Zoo

Two hippos at the San Diego Zoo, 1940

In the 40 years they lived at the San Diego Zoo, Rube and Rubie had 10 calves together.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citiations

Hlavacek et al. (2005)
Klingel (1990)
Thompson (2002)

SDZWA Library Links