Hippopotamus, or Hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus. The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse". After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal and the heaviest extant artiodactyl. In the dimension of "Jumanji", Hippos are extremely aggressive and fiercely territorial water-dwelling animals that will attack and kill anything that gets too close to them, even though they are mostly herbivores.


Hippos are recognizable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar legs, and large size; adults average 1,500 kg (3,310 lb) and 1,300 kg (2,870 lb) for males and females respectively. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable of running 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances.

Hippos inhabit rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of five to thirty females and young and sometimes much larger herds of 100 or more. During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grasses. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land. The Hippopotamus is among the most dangerous animals in the world as it is highly aggressive and unpredictable, keeping this behaviour in "Jumanji".


Board Game

  • Secret symbol: Raft
  • Number: 3

In the Milton Bradley board game, the Hippopotamus has its own danger card. Rolling a Raft on the rescue die within 3 seconds will defeat the Hippo threat.

Jumanji PC game

In the Jumanji (1996 Video Game), Hippos appear in the game as hazards.

  • Monsoon Lagoon (Crocodile Totem): The player plays as Alan Parrish. The house is flooded with water and the player must jump from one piece of furniture to the next, across the rapids. Hazards include hippos and crocodiles.

Hippo of doom

The Hippopotamus of doom.

In the animated series, Hippos appear as very dangerous aquatics "Jumanji" animals. They could be very aggressive towards anything that crossed its territory but could be scared into diving underwater after hearing the sounds of gunfire from Van Pelt.

Jumanji Steampunk Hippo Quicksand

The mechanical Hippo sinks in Quicksand.

In Master Builder, it is revealed that while some Hippos are part of the natural"Jumanji" wildlife, others are mechanical steampunk creations of Professor J.S. Heinrich Ibsen. He sends one of his steampunk Hippos to chase the players after they escape from his factory; they lose it when it becomes sunk in quicksand, upsetting Ibsen. It is shown in Air Judy that Ibsen is stealing the eggs from the Jumaki tribe to fuel his creations, including a design of battle armored Hippo he referred to as the Hippopotamus of doom.


A Hippo attacks Shelly.

In the 2017 film, the players land in the "Jumanji" dimension after selecting their avatars. While getting used to their new characters, Bethany Walker discovered in a nearby river reflection that her character avatar was Shelly Oberon, completely unaware that a Hippo was swimming in the river behind him. The Hippo (presumably agitated by his screaming) submerged from the river and ran up behind Shelly (Beth), seizing him in its jaws and (seemingly) killing him.

Jumanji 2017 Hippo Map

The Hippo illustration.

Fortunately Shelly (Beth) had 2 more lives to spare and regenerated back into the game, incorrectly believing his attacker to be a Rhinoceros until zoologist Franklin "Mouse" Finbar corrected him. But another Hippo appeared from the bushes and gave an intimidating grunt which scared the players into running, but the Hippo attacker from before was still riled up and gave chase to the players. Only managing to catch a ride in Nigel Billingsley's jeep enabled the quartet to finally escape from the Hippos.

In the "Jumanji" map closing credits, a Hippo illustration appears next to Jack Black's credits, referencing the Hippo attack scene.

In the Mobile Game, the Hippopotamus appears as a legendary class animal card. The Hippo also has an icon on the bingo chart.

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