Polar Bear vs Hippo | Who Would Win in a Fight?

Three types of bears are the most famous ones. They are polar bears, black bears, and grizzly bears. None of them have enough calibration to beat a hippopotamus in a one vs one fight. Hippopotamus would win the fight between bear vs hippo in 9 out of 10 cases. It is bigger, stronger, and has better weapons. The massive jaw can take almost anything under its grasp and mash it into a mound.

The bears are also apex predators, and they have their hunting weapons. However, they come nowhere near to the cold harshness of a hippopotamus.

Polar bear vs hippo

Hippo vs Polar Bear vs Black Bear vs Grizzly Bear – Comparison Chart

Comparison TopicHippopotamusPolar bearBlack bearGrizzly bear
Scientific classificationHippopotamus amphibiusUrsus maritimusUrsus americanasUrsus arctos horibilis
TypesThere exist two species of hippos. They are the common hippo and the pygmy hippo. They are the marine species of bears.There are 16 subspecies of black bears all over the jungles of North America and Mexico.There are two subspecies of grizzly bears. They are the mainland grizzly and the larger Kodiak bear. The Kodiak is the largest bear species in the world.
SizeTheir body length is about 11 to 17 feet. They can stand about 5.2 to 5.5 feet tall.Male polar bears are about 8 to 10 feet tall when standing on two feet.

Females are about 6 to 8 feet tall when standing the same way. When walking on 4 feet, they are about 5 feet tall.
Adult black bears are about 5 to 6 feet tall.Grizzlies have shoulders that are about 3.5 to 5 feet tall. Their height extends to about 9 feet when standing on the two hind legs.

However, Kodiak bears can stand more than 10 feet tall.
WeightAdult male hippos are about 6000 pounds. Female adults weigh about 3000 pounds on average.Adults male polar bears weigh up to 1500 pounds. Females are about 550 pounds on average.The black ones are relatively smaller than the other types. Their adults can weigh up to 600 pounds.Males can weigh up to 850 pounds. Whereas females can weigh up to 500 pounds.
DietHerbivorous animal.Marine carnivores. Their staple food is the seal.They are omnivores. Hence, they eat both plants and meat.Grizzlies are also omnivorous.
SpeedHippos have an average speed of 30.5 to 30.6 km/h (about 19 mph).Their maximum speed can extend over 40 km/h (25 mph) for covering short distances.They can run at about 56km/h(35mph).Grizzlies also have a speed similar to the black bears.

Their highest speed can occasionally cross 35 mph (56km/h).
Bite ForceAbout 1800 psi.Around 1200 psiAround 980 psiAbout 1160 psi.
HabitatHippos prefer slow-moving rivers and lakes. They like enough vegetation near the lakes they submerge in.Polar bears need the ice to survive. The thick layer of fat under their skin needs to be cooled down.

Iced lands of The Arctic is the perfect place for living their lives.
They are commonly found in the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest. They are also seen in the forests of Canada, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Mexico, etc.Their preferred habitats are woodlands, forests, meadows with alpine vegetation, and prairies.
PopulationAbout 130,000 river hippos are living in the lands and lakes of Africa.According to scientists, with slight uncertainties, there are about 26000 to 31,000 polar bears.About 250,000 to 300,000 American black bears are currently alive and kicking in the wild.Around 55,000 of them exist throughout the world.
LifespanHippos live Around 40 years in the wild. Whereas in captivity, they can live up to 50 years.About 25 to 30 years in the wild. Their lifespan decreases to 23 years in captivity.They usually live for about 20 to 25 years. The longest one ever lived was about 30 years.Grizzly bears can live up to 20 to 25 years in the wild. Their lifespan can extend up to 44 years in captivity.
PredatorHippopotami have no potential predators.Polar bears have no natural predators. But Walruses and wolves often attack them, and the polar bear gets killed in the fight.Humans, mountain lions, wolves, and grizzly bears are predators of black bears.No natural enemies in the wild. Except for humans, of course.
Nile hippo and pygmy hippo
3 Types of bears- polar, black, and grizzly bear

Polar bear vs Hippo Side by Side Comparison

Physical features

Polar bears are one of the biggest living mammals in today’s world. Yet hippopotami tops them anyway. They are the third-largest mammals on earth, right after elephants and white rhinos.
An average male hippo weighs around 1500 to 1600 kilograms.

Whereas, an average female weighs up to 1300 kilograms. Their shoulder height is about 5 to 6 feet. Moreover, the males(10 to 17 feet) are slightly longer than the females(10 to 14 feet).

On the other hand, polar bears males can weigh up to 800 kilograms, and females can weigh up to 300 kilograms. Their shoulder height is about 5.6 feet. Their bodies are 210 to 260 centimeters long. So clearly, the hippopotamuses have the upper hand in physical characteristics.


Hippopotamuses are the most aggressive mammals on land. They kill 500 people per year. It is impossible to know, looking at their cute and cuddly faces. They are cold-hearted killers. They can kill without showing any emotion. This aggression starts at a very young age.

Hippos tend to yawn at their enemies as a sign of threat. Territorial males don’t even hesitate to kill calves to mate with the mother. This often ends up being pretty dirty for both the male and the female. They use their tusks to push, bite, and slash the enemy.

hippo yawning

Polar bears are pretty aggressive creatures. They even kill their babies. This is due to the females being unavailable for mating. Each female polar bear mates every three years. For this reason, the males have to compete extremely to find their mating partners.

Speed and Strength

Hippopotamuses are incredibly agile. Their average speed in the wild is about 19 mph (35.6 km/h). This acceleration is completed in only a matter of seconds.

Moreover, they have a massive jaw that can open up to 180 degrees. This jaw has a bite force of around 1800 psi. It can crush a watermelon in one bite like it’s nothing.

Hippopotamuses do a lot of pushing, biting, and slashing. They don’t hesitate to bite the tail off of one of the Nile crocodiles, which are one of the most successful species in the world.

Polar bears are bigger, stronger, and faster than other bear species. They are undoubtedly one of the strongest land mammals. They have a carnivorous jaw that can bite with a force of around 1200 psi every time.

Moreover, they like to swim a lot. They can cross 30 to 40 miles over the arctic daily. The longest record of the swimming distance of a polar bear is about 430 miles. This is because they are all muscle.

In addition, Polar bears are excellent hunters. Their nostrils are so good that they can smell seals under 3 feet of ice. They are more predatory than all the other bear species. They have huge paws with extraordinary claws. One swipe with the paw can easily fracture the skull or spine of any animal.

polar bear catches fish

Polar Bear vs Hippo – Who Is More Fierce?

Hippo has huge tusks as weapons. Their canines can grow up to 12 inches. These are so sharp that hippos are seen biting the tails off of crocs. The bulls often find themselves face-off with each other for the territory. They are highly territorial and would attack anyone that seems to be messing around on their properties.

Hippos would yawn at the trespasser as a sign of warning. If the trespasser doesn’t leave, they’d attack it from the front with astronomical agility and try to knock it down. They toy with other apex predators like it’s nothing. They are the most cold-hearted killers of Africa.

Polar bears are speedy attackers. Each bear has a critical space. If a human or anything violates that space limit, the bear will attack without a second thought. They have a purely carnivorous jaw. Their teeth are very sharp and well developed for mincing meat. They also have substantial, powerful paws. One slice of the paw can leave you severely injured.

Who Would Win the Bear vs Hippo Fight?

Hippopotamuses are killers from Africa. In comparison, bears are primarily found in America, Mexico, Canada, and places nearby. Polar bears have made the Arctic their home.

As a result, hippos don’t come across a bear while roaming in their natural habitat. Similarly, bears never see hippopotami nearby. Both of them won’t survive for long if their whereabouts are interchanged. Even if they could survive the environment, they wouldn’t be in a state of fighting each other.

A hippo would barely breathe if taken to the North Pole. Therefore, this fight is less natural and a lot more hypothetical.

The result of the battle is almost inevitable that the hippo would win over a bear. Because of their immense strength, jaw power, aggressiveness, and huge body. Bears are gentle creatures compared to this. They kill less than one person every year. The aggression of a hippopotamus is skyrocketing.


The hippopotamus would win in 9 out of 10 fights between bear vs hippo. They have the upper hand in all the aggression, attacking, speed, hunting, and defense departments. The river horse can hurt the polar bear and force it to flee.

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"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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