Meet our Hippopotamuses

"Nakili" and "Jazi"

Hippos have a bulky pig-like conformation but they are not related to pigs.  While a hippo looks ungainly on land, it swims very well.  An adult stands 4 ½ to 5 feet tall at the shoulder and 10 feet in length.  Adult males may weigh 3,500 to 6,000 pounds and females over 3,000 pounds.   The skin is virtually hairless.    The upper surfaces are purplish gray to blue-black.  The lower surfaces and the skin around the eyes and ears tend to be pink.  Hippos walk on all 4 toes and have a web between their toes.  

There is a lot of individual variation in the color patterns among hippos.
nakili_cutoutNakili came to live at the Ellen Trout Zoo in November 2001 and Jazi arrived this year.


Born in March 1999, she is named "Nakili" which is the Swahili word for "copy".  She was named this due to her resemblance to her mother.  She weighed 1628 pounds upon arrival at the Ellen Trout Zoo in 2001.  Nakili likes to roll underwater, lie on the beach, and sleep.

The newest addition to the hippo herd at the Ellen Trout Zoo is "Jazi". She was born at the San Diego Zoo on July 7, 2003. Jazz arrived in Lufkin at 9:30 am on May 22 tired and ready to get out of her crate. She had been on the road for two days. She was greeted by Lufkin's mayor, Jack Gorden, several members of the press, and happy zoo staff. With help from Glenn Sullivan, Angelina County Expo Director, a heavy-duty forklift was used to move Jazi in her crate to the hippo barn. When she has had a couple of days to get rested and settled in we will try to get a weight on her. Jazi will remain in quarantine for about 30 days before she will be released to the exhibit and public view. Watch the video.