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Do Hippos Eat Fish

do hippo eat fish

Do hippos eat fish? No, they don’t. This is a common question, as many people believe that hippos are primarily carnivores. However, the truth is that hippos are actually herbivores. Grass, small plants, vegetables, and fruits make up the majority of their food. While hippos have been observed eating meat in a few instances, this is usually only when food is limited or they are in distress. 

Hippos’ Food

The majority of people have the misconception that hippopotamuses subsist on a diet of meats or large fishes, but in reality, the majority of their food is grasses. They prefer eating short grass, and you can find them grazing in the meadows that are located close to the lake bed. On the other hand, there is no evidence that they consume coarse grass or grass with thick roots.

Hippopotamuses, in addition to eating grass, will also consume fruits when the opportunity presents itself. Because they are nocturnal eaters, it might be challenging to determine the precise nature of the food that they take in. Hippopotamuses that are kept in captivity will often consume straw, Bermuda hay, alfalfa, lettuce, and several other vegetables.

They may also receive aquatic plant supplements or herbivore pellets every once in a while as well. Hippopotamuses are often regarded as being among the most aggressive creatures found anywhere in the world, regardless of the food they consume.

do hippo eat fish

When does Hippo Eat Meat or Fish?

Although hippos are predominantly herbivorous animals, they will consume meat if necessary. Close observation has revealed that if grass or other plants are scarce, these river horses will consume meat, insects, and even fish. This is especially likely to happen during times of drought when food is scarce.

It should be emphasized, however, that hippopotami eat meat only on rare occasions. This is considered abnormal behavior and occurs only when the hippo is stressed due to a food shortage. Hippos, for the most part, are gentle giants that calmly graze on grass and other plants.

hippo in water

Can You Call Hippos Omnivores?

Crocodiles are sometimes the target of attacks from hippos. They will occasionally assault people as well. One of the most aggressive creatures that can be found everywhere in the world is the hippopotamus. They are responsible for the deaths of at least 500 persons in Africa each year. However, hippos do not consume all types of food.

Hippos are larger than the majority of other animals that are classified as predators and may consume either fish or meat. Due to the fact that their digestive system is different from that of carnivorous and omnivorous animals, they do not subsist on fish or meat.

In addition to the digestive system and tooth structure, an animal’s diet is also determined by its adaptations. It is possible that this is the reason why hippos do not consume fish or meat despite the fact that they are able to do so.

hippo with fish

Final Words

According to African folklore, hippos are not allowed to eat fish because they would quickly devour all the fish in the lakes and rivers if they could. Although this may sound like a satisfying answer, the real reason why hippos don’t eat fish is actually much more mundane. Unlike other aquatic mammals, such as seals and whales, hippos lack the aquatic adaptations that would enable them to hunt fish effectively.

Their eyes are small and set far back on their head, making it difficult to see underwater. They also have no webbing between their toes, which makes it difficult for them to swim. As a result, hippos are not able to chase or catch fish, so they simply don’t bother trying.


Do hippos eat any animals?

While hippos are largely herbivorous, they are not entirely strict vegetarians. In fact, hippos have been known to eat small mammals, reptiles, and even fish on occasion. However, these instances are rare, and most of the time hippos stick to a diet of plants.

What is the Favourite food of hippos?

The favorite food of Hippos is grass and aquatic plants, which they consume in large quantities. Hippos are actually herbivores that primarily have vegetation.

What do the hippos eat?

Hippos are herbivores, which means that they primarily eat plants. They are fond of leafy greens, but they will also eat fruits, roots, and stems. While they mostly graze on land, hippos are also known to browse aquatic plants when they are in the water.

Do hippos eat grass or fish?

Hippos are herbivores and eat only grass. Hippos don’t eat fish. 

What fish do hippos eat?

No, Hippos will not eat any kind of fish as it is a herbivores. However, on rare occasions, animal enthusiasts have noted Hippo eating catfish and tilapia fish during food scarcity and drought. 

What do zoos feed hippos?

Zoos typically feed hippos a diet of hay, pellets, vegetables, and fruit. The exact mix varies depending on the zoo, but most diets are designed to mimic the hippo’s natural diet as closely as possible. Hay is an important part of the diet because it provides essential nutrients and fiber, which help keep the hippo’s digestive system healthy.

Pellets are also an important part of the diet because they provide a concentrated source of nutrition. Vegetables and fruit are typically included for their vitamins and minerals. Zoo staff usually work with nutritionists to ensure that the hippos are getting all the nutrients they need.

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Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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