One of the world’s largest and fiercest mammals. Hippopotamuses are one of the heaviest animals on Earth. They weigh up to 4.5 tons, almost double the weight of an average-sized vehicle. Naturally, they're herbivorous; this nature has a lot of people thinking that they can’t hurt a human or another animal. Wrong; hippopotamuses can be aggressive, especially when provoked.
Most herbivorous animals have harmless unsharpened teeth, but this is not the case for the hippo. The hippopotamus has a complete set of heterodont teeth, including incisors, a canine, premolars, and molars. Their canines can grow a foot long. These canines grow incredibly long and are majorly used in fighting other hippos over food or mates.
Growing restrictions on ivory trafficking have increased the trade in hippopotamus teeth, which leaves the hippo vulnerable to attacks and death. The(IUCN) International Union for Conservation of Nature) classified the Hippopotamus as Vulnerable in 2006 and has retained that status for years. With the alarming rate of poaching for the hippo’s teeth, this classification status might quickly change to critically endangered.
Poachers are finding markets mainly in Asia, where the teeth are sold, used for carving ornaments, and sold primarily in European countries. Hong Kong is the leading exporter of hippo teeth to Europe. If measures are not implemented to curb these criminal entities, we’re facing a situation where we’ll see the hippopotamus become extinct.
You can help organisations fighting the illegal trade of hippopotamus teeth by:
- Boycotting products made from hippo teeth
- Donating to these organisations, with enough funds, they’ll be able to do more
- Volunteering in organisations dedicated to the eradication of the illegal hippo teeth trade.
- Support legislation that is in place to protect hippos
- Spread the message on your social media platforms and to close family, relatives and friends. Information is power.
At Ocean Sole, we’re fully aware of the problem and rallying support for the hippopotamus. We’re appalled that one of nature’s most powerful mammals and a huge contributor to our ecosystem is facing extreme threats to its survival. We make hippopotamus flip-flop art to raise visual awareness to them and highlight their story.
Here's a look inside what goes into making one of our extra large hippo sculptures:
- An artist will recycle 60 Flip-flop sculptures
- 1.5 kg of Styrofoam
- It will take 45 hours to complete
We also educate everyone who pays us a visit about the importance of conservation and how they can get involved. In addition, we highlight the plight of the hippopotamus on our social media platforms in the hope that people will read and become knowledgeable about their plight and join in the mission to save them.
Illegal poaching and habitat loss make hippopotamus survival seem bleak, but we can turn things around. Get involved in the efforts to save the hippo and spread the message far and wide, be their voice!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for custom projects and creative ideas or to see how to stay connected & get involved with our mission!