Home Animals How Much Does a Hippo Cost? Explained in 2022

How Much Does a Hippo Cost? Explained in 2022

how much does a hippo cost

For many people, owning an exotic pet is a fun and rewarding hobby. These pets can add excitement and intrigue to your life, and they can also be a great investment. If you’re considering adding a hippopotamus to your pet collection, you may be wondering how much it will cost. The price of a hippo can vary depending on a number of factors, but our research indicates that you can expect to pay around $300,000 in total. 

In this article we will discuss all facts about how much would it cost for someone to maintain a hippo in his private collection, assuming he managed to secure the necessary permit. If you want to keep a hippo as a pet, how much money are you looking at?

baby hippo with mother

How Much Does a Hippopotamus Cost

Buying a hippo: How much does it cost to buy a hippo?

Owning a hippopotamus is certainly not a decision to be made lightly. Not only are they incredibly expensive – costing upwards of $100,000 – but they also require a great deal of care and experience to keep them healthy and happy. Without professional help, it is very difficult to provide the enormous enclosure and specialized diet that a hippo needs. In addition, you will need to obtain permits from both state and federal authorities before you can even begin the process of acquiring a hippo. 

Water hole price

Hippos also need large bodies of water to stay healthy. In fact, they spend most of their time submerged in water and often use it to cool off from the hot African sun. For this reason, if you’re considering buying a hippo, you’ll need to have a large professional pond or lake on your property. And be prepared to spend big – a 20-acre lake can cost upwards of $150,000.

young hippo

Land price

When you first get your giant, it’s going to be small. You might be tempted to keep it in your house, but as it grows, it’s going to need more and more space. Eventually, it’s going to need an entire acre of land to itself. This can seem like a lot, but it’s actually not that difficult or expensive to find. In New York, for example, you can get 1-acre land for $13,000 to $15,000. In Florida, the cost is a little bit higher, at $6000 to $7000 per acre. And in Mississippi, you can find land for as little as $3000 to $4000 per acre.

Feeding cost

Hippopotamuses have a huge appetite. They require approximately 100 pounds of vegetation on a daily basis, which can result in a significant cost. The price of vegetables per pound can range anywhere from 30 cents to 50 cents, and the price of grass per square yard can be anywhere from $3 to $8. Therefore, the annual cost of providing food for a hippopotamus can reach approximately $19,000.

hippo feeding

Total cost

Professional care for a hippo is not cheap. You can expect to spend at least $300,000 over the course of a year, and that’s just for the basics like food and housing. If you want to provide your hippo with enrichment activities or veterinary care, you can easily add another $50,000 to that total. Of course, the cost of owning a hippo is not just financial. They are also very high-maintenance animals that require a lot of time and attention.

State Regulations for Hippos Ownership

Over the years, there has been a growing trend of people buying new animals as pets. While many of these animals are domestic, some are wild and could pose a danger to both the owner and other neighbors. In fact, there have been a number of accidents involving such pets, leading the state governments of the USA to enforce laws banning or limiting ownership of certain animals. As a result, impulse buyers are less likely to pick out an animal without any thought given to its suitability to their lifestyle.

baby hippo in outdoor

People frequently die at the hands of hippos because they are aggressive and dangerous animals. On average, hippo attacks kill nearly 500 people annually in Africa. This aggressiveness should be considered if you want to keep a hippo as a pet. You need to know everything about hippos, including how to keep yourself and others safe while caring for and training a hippo.

Owning a hippopotamus is only legal in a few states and there is a good reason for it. These animals weigh over 3000 pounds and have a mouth that can open up to 180 degrees. They are also the third largest land animal. Despite their size, some people still want to own one of these animals. However, it is not as simple as just buying one. In most states, you need to have a professional license in order to own a hippopotamus. Oregon is the only state that does not have this requirement. If you want to own one of these animals, you need to be prepared to take on a lot of responsibility.

However, the following states allow citizens to keep hippos as pets and issue permits for doing so:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Florida
  3. Mississippi

According to this list, the hippo is the most dangerous, so entering Florida with one requires a special permit that is difficult to obtain. The number of countries that forbid keeping hippos in homes is longer than any other. It goes like this,

  1. Georgia           
  2. Hawaii 
  3. Maine
  4. Kentucky
  5. Ohio and
  6. West Virginia

Are Hippopotami a Good Pet? 5 Arguments Against it

Hippopotamuses make poor pets. The owner’s life turns hectic when they have a hippo as a pet. We are telling you this for a number of reasons.

can hippo be tamed

Hippos can’t be trained.

There’s just no way to tame a hippo. They’re wild animals, and even if you dedicated years of your life to trying to domesticate one, it’s unlikely to succeed. Not to mention, the process would likely be accompanied by some accidental injuries on your part. 

African natives know this all too well; news of the river horse attacking humans is not uncommon. In fact, they would actually prefer a lion encounter overcoming face-to-face with a hippo. The reason is, the hippo can smash your organs into pulp, peck you in half, or gore you to death with its massive mouth. 

The third largest mammal is the Hippo.

Despite their endearing appearance, adult hippos are not to be trifled with. They have a mass of 3000 to 6000 pounds and a length of 10 to 16 feet, with a height of about 5 feet. Because of this, you can’t have them sit on the couch with you while you watch TV in a professional capacity.

They need space

If you’re thinking of getting a hippo for your backyard, there are a few things you need to know. Hippos require a sizable watering place to relax in. They enjoy having a wide open area to move around and relax. Therefore, building wooden fences to surround the beast in your garden is impossible. You’ll need to consult with a professional to figure out what size enclosure you’ll need. 

Hippopotamuses can Consume a lot of Food.

Herbivorous hippos need a lot of food to maintain their hefty bodies. They require about 100 lb. of plant matter per day, on average. Hippopotamuses spend the majority of the day submerged in water, where they can cool off and hide from predators. When night falls, however, they come out of the water to graze on grass and other plants. Hippopotamuses, despite their size, can travel up to 6 miles in search of food.

Consequently, managing their diet is a daunting task that requires a lot of effort from zookeepers. In addition to providing them with enough food, zoo staff also need to monitor their nutrition intake and ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients. This requires regular observation and analysis by a qualified nutritionist.

It’s unusual to find a store that sells hippos.

While it may be possible to find a pet hippopotamus for sale online, the process of actually purchasing one is far from simple. There are a number of laws and restrictions in place that make it difficult to import a hippo into most countries. In addition, the necessary paperwork can be daunting for even the most experienced pet owner. As a result, only a small number of people are able to successfully purchase a pet hippo. 

Final Words

Hippopotamuses are not known for being great pets. They are large, aggressive animals that require a lot of space and attention. However, that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to keep them as pets. In the United States, there are a handful of states where it is legal to own a hippo, and some people have taken advantage of this by running businesses that allow visitors to interact with these animals. While hippos may not be ideal pets, they can be a fun addition to any zoo or animal park.



Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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