LAND OF THE HIPPO

This is an English language lesson about the Hippopotamus.

The keywords of the lesson are highlighted in bold.

The Hippopotamus is one of the most curious animals on earth.

Its natural habitat is the rivers, lakes and swamps of sub-sahara Africa.

The name itself comes from the Greek language and means River Horse.

The word Hippopotamus is usually shortened to Hippo.

It has short legs, a huge mouth and a body shaped like a barrel.

Inside the mouth are ivory canine teeth which are much sought after by poachers.

The Hippo resembles a large pig but is actually related to whales and dolphins.

The Hippo spends a lot of time in the water which helps to keep it cool.

A hippo cannot swim or float in water but it can run on land to a speed of 20 miles per hour over short distances.

The bull male hippo weighs upto three tons.

A hippo can live for upto  forty five years.

It is the third largest land mammal on earth after the elephant and the rhinoceros.

Hippos are not predatorial like crocodiles but they are certainly territorial and aggressive creatures.

Many hippos are kept in zoos aa a tourist attraction in places around the world.

Perhaps the most famous place to see Hippos in captivity is at the theme park near Medellin in Colombia based at the former ranch of drugs overlord Pablo Escobar.

The name of the ranch is Hacienda Napoles.

It is believed that Pablo Escobar smuggled three female hippos and one bull hippo onto the site sometime prior to his assassination in 1993.

The hippos have remained there to this day with the sanction of the Colombian government and the World Wildlife Fund, reproducing  to an estimated sixty in number.

It is very difficult to relocate a hippo to a new habitat.

Hippos are particularly sensitive to chemical compounds arising from castration or sedation

Hippos may seem docile as they relax in shallow water but nobody would want to leave it to chance to be attacked by one

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