Hungry Hungry Hippos

Friday, November 19, 2010
Open up and say ah!
A favourite game of mine growing up was called Hungy Hippos. Basically 4 people each controlled a plastic hippopotamus and it was a race to eat as many plastic balls as possible. Who knew the game was actually inspired by the real life attitude of  the hippopotamus?

It turns out that hippos are fierecesome water beasts, immensly strong and a real danger to animals and men who venture into their territory. Despite their stocky shape and short legs, these so called river horses can easily outrun a human.

The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. Want proof? Check out these massive jaws and think about the damage they would inflict if locked onto your arm:

If only you could smell the bad breath!
These pictures of a vet narrowly escaped injury after an irate hippopotamus charged at him and threw him into a river demonstrate the threat these beasts pose.  The pictures were taken  in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Dr Markus Hofmeyr had earlier attempted to tranquilise the animal in shallow water and it appeared to be sedated until it woke up after getting water in its nose. What is it with vets failing to properly sedate their patients? You'd think they would learn from this incident with the crocodile eh?

The confused and doped up hippo lunged at Dr Hofmeyr and his partner, Dr Nico de Bruin, who quickly intervened and dragged Dr Hofmeyr to safety. Check out that mouth! Nice work vets!

There's plenty of stories around how hippos have attacked people in canoes and boats. For a Hollywood version, check out the film Congo.

Hippos are not however the Kings of the Jungle so they have their own problems too:

 Check out this video of a pair of lions bring down a hippo. It apparently died the day after the attack.

What about these crocodiles feeding on a dead hippo? The patient undertaker in deed:

Sometime the hippos win. You may have seen this picture of a crocodile that strayed into a herd of hippo:

Check out that tooth!

This video shows a fearless river horse taking on a crocodile and actually taking the croc's lunch for himself after biting the crocodile!

Then again sometimes the crocodiles get their revenge by eating all the baby hippos:


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