10 Nov 2014

Hippos Fighting in the Kitchen!

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Hippo1

From Quora:

Lake Kariba leaves one dreaming of lazy days fishing, game viewing and braaing in the evening whilst being serenaded by the sounds of the night.

Colin, my brother in law had won four nights in a raffle, so had invited my parents, Mike Freeman and myself to join.

Within hours of arriving we were blessed with a magnificent elephant interaction at our lodge before going onto the water for a game.

Later whilst eating dinner another bull came upto the lodge and we could have stroked its head it felt that close! Unbelievable… we really are spoilt living in Zimbabwe.

Following an amazing sea food dinner, which Colin cooked on the skottle, we sat around outside playing games. The cook was cleaning the dishes in the kitchen, with the kitchen door was open, so that he could get a bit of a breeze.

Suddenly, he sprinted around from the kitchen, past us, at an incredible a rate, followed by a series of monumental crashing sounds and roaring. We all assumed an elephant had become enraged, and lost no time in getting into the house and going for the stairs to get to safety.

I however, ran outside to get a better view of what was actually happening, only to see the slashing jaws of a hippo bull attacking the hindquarters of another one trapped at its front. Now a door frame is not wide, so picture an animal over one tonne squeezing through the opening into a kitchen that was not much wider than the door opening into it.

Imagine my surprise when I saw first a human hand and then a head peer with panic around the wall! Oh my God, someone is wedged in there with those two terrifying creatures! I dashed around and into the kitchen to see him attempting to clamber over the stove, which had now been ripped away from it’s place in the wall. I helped him squeeze and avoid those massive teeth – it was truly a wonder that he hadn’t been sliced to shreds.

The pandemonium and cacophony of sounds added to the sheer terror of the situation – however only with hindsight are these things appreciated.

Adrenaline has a habit of taking charge, allowing one to make informed decisions based on facts not feelings.

I then raced back towards the roaring and gnashing jaws of these massive creatures and started clapping and shouting. Even in my state of adrenaline induced action I thought – what the hell am I doing. I was sure they could not even hear me, let alone pay any attention to my presence Colin came to back me up and amazingly one of the hippo reversed, squeezing back through the back door – which was now splinters (even the security gate had been ripped from the wall).

The unfortunate hippo then forced its way into the dining room through the narrow opening toward me. Ripping the stove off the wall and causing a power outage. And then silence!

I legged it! I now had lost the advantage of at least being able to see the most dangerous creature in Africa before it ploughed its way toward me. So needed light.

Once I had my cellphone I slowly make my way to the point where I last saw the hippo’s using my phone torch to assess the situation.

The moment the torch light landed on the hippo he made a mad dash toward me. I wasn’t sticking around to see how quickly he could smash his way through the dining room table so AGAIN I legged it.

He made his escape through the open French window, destroying the Jacuzzi and heading toward the sanctuary of the lake.

The next morning we moved to a new lodge as the smell was terrible whilst there was a bit of a clean up operation which needed to begin.

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