Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Trading Hippopotamus Teeth For Cash

Hippopotamus teeth are traded legally and illegally.


Hippopotamus are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa but that does not stop the legal and illegal black market trade in hippopotamus teeth. One hippo tooth can fetch up to $600. Hong Kong is the largest market for hippo teeth where an increased demand for ivory from hippos hippo teeth are often used for jewelry, piano keys, chess pieces, furniture inlays, hunting trophies and other art items.

Hippopotamus teeth
Hippopotamus teeth

Trading Hippopotamus Teeth For Cash

You may think of ivory from elephant tusks but hippo teeth are made of ivory also. Hippopotamus teeth are used as ivory after the thick, hard enamel layer is removed. Elephant teeth are up to 6 feet long while hippo teeth are up to 2 feet long. 

Hippo teeth tusks are used like elephant ivory for carved decorations. Hippos also have the largest teeth of all land animals. Additionally, other parts of both animals such as feet and skulls are valued as statement or souvenir items. 

Hippopotamus have a low birth rate, female hippos have only one calf every two years, so a reduction in population size can have a long-term impact.

In 2006, it was estimated that only between 125,000 and 150,000 hippos existed, a statistic that prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature to list the hippopotamus as a vulnerable species.

Hippo teeth are traded legally and illegally

Hippo teeth are traded legally and illegally. Those who are caught in the illegal trade in Africa can be sentenced to spend 2 to 5 years for illegally possessing wildlife products. Hippo teeth can still be traded under CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora founded in 1973 though all international sales require an export permit.

CITES is an international treaty between governments to ensure that trade does not cause species to become extinct. It operates using a permit system depending on how endangered the animal or plant. 

The illegal trade of Hippo teeth is responsible for more human deaths than almost any other animal in Africa.

The illegal trade of Hippo teeth is responsible for more human deaths than almost any other animal in Africa. Hippopotamus are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa standing around 6 feet tall weighing upwards of 8,000 pounds. Hippos can easily outrun a human running up to speeds of 20 miles per hour. Also in 2011 in Zambia, Hippos hunting for food by rooting in the soil, became infected with anthrax. 

Hippopotamus teeth are mostly used in Hong Kong.


Hippo teeth are mostly used in Hong Kong, Asia, where hippo ivory is carved into artwork.
Large hippo populations are found in the African countries of Botswana, Eritrea, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Zambia, The Gambia, Rwanda, Chad, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, and Ethiopia. 

Rules for trading ivory Hippopotamus teeth comes from Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species import and export and is legally restricted. New ivory can enter most countries under very limited circumstances for example for the purposes of forensic or scientific research.

There are two species of hippos; the large common hippo and the smaller pygmy hippo. Hippos are the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos. 

Did you know?
The closest relations of the hippopotamus are whales and dolphins.

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Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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