Hippo and a polar bear on light green background. Text: Hippo vs Polar Bear
Hippo vs Polar Bear who would win?

Hippopotamus Vs Polar Bear (Strength, Weight, Size Comparisons, Potential Winner)

Since the Hippopotamus and a Polar bear will probably never come face to face in a fight in the wild, we can only presume from the information below. They both live in completely different habitats and locations. However, you can determine which would have the upper hand from facts about the animals.

A Hippo Habitat

an image of the perfect habitat where hippos live, swampy lake rivers of African water bodies.
The perfect Hippo Habitat

Polar Bear Habitat

An image showing the natural habitat for the polar bear, Arctic sea ice and coastal areas
Polar bear’s ideal habitat

Battle Factors To Bear In Mind

Age: The older an animal gets, the weaker it becomes, and the younger they are, the less strength it will have. 

Illness: Nursing any old wounds will weaken an animal, making it less likely to win in an even battle.

Food: Lack of food will reduce its ability to fight to its potential. However, desperation may take over and benefit them.

HippopotamusPolar Bear
SizeUp to 16 feet long and 5 feet tallUp to 8 feet long and 4 feet tall
WeightUp to 8000 poundsUp to 1,700 pounds
LifespanUp to 50 yearsUp to 30 years
Speed on land8 miles per hour25 miles per hour
Speed in water5 miles per hour6 miles per hour
Bite force2000-2500 pounds per square inch1200 pounds per square inch
DefenceLarge-sized and sharp teeth. It can also use its powerful jaws to bite and its tusks to slash at predators.Sharp claws and teeth that it can use to defend itself.
HabitatFreshwater rivers, lakes, and swampsArctic sea ice and coastal areas
DietHerbivorous, mainly grasses and aquatic plantsCarnivorous, mainly seals
IntelligenceVery smartAveragely smart
Comparing a hippo and a polar bear

Speed will definitely be one of the skills needed to win a fight. If the other animal can’t catch them, they can’t get hurt, so with this in mind, the Polar Bear on land will have the upper hand. However, if a hippo can get close enough to a Polar Bear, its extreme bite force will overcome the speed. With one bite from a hippo, it could well be all over.

Fighting is a close-contact situation, so there will be a chance for a bite from a hippo. The Polar bear’s intelligence may again override a hippo’s bite force potential edge.

A polar bear and a hippo comparing the different sizes of each animal
Comparison of the size of a polar bear and a hippo

Indeed, on land, a polar bear will win!

It’s a different story in water since the Polar bear can’t rely on their speed in the water. A polar bear’s speed in water is only 1 mile per hour faster than a hippo’s. The hippo will win the battle if the fight occurs in water. Regardless of intelligence, the habitat of the water is where hippos love to spend most of their days. They are much more confident in the water than on land compared to the polar bears.

Therefore, in water, a hippo will beat a polar bear in a fight.

However, I never want to witness a battle between a Hippopotamus and a Polar Bear. It would be pretty gruesome.

Both these animals are fascinating and deserve our respect. I have written plenty about hippos if you want to know more about them.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Polar Bear and a Hippopotamus?

The outcome of a hypothetical fight between a polar bear and a hippopotamus would depend on the fight’s location. On land, a polar bear would likely have the advantage and would likely win the fight. Polar bears are incredibly strong, capable climbers and possess sharp claws and powerful jaws. However, in water, a hippopotamus would have the upper hand. Hippos are excellent swimmers, agile in the water, and have powerful jaws that can inflict serious damage. Therefore, a hippo would likely beat a polar bear in a fight in an aquatic environment. So, the ultimate winner would depend on whether the fight occurs on land or water.

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She is also a avid binge watcher of wild animal documentary's. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. She has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.