Category Archive 'Hippopotamus'

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.

10 May 2013

Swallowed By a Hippo

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Paul Templer shares an extreme experience.

The hippo who tried to kill me wasn’t a stranger – he and I had met before a number of times. I was 27 and owned a business taking clients down the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls. I’d been working this stretch of river for years, and the grouchy old two-ton bull had carried out the occasional half-hearted attack. I’d learned to avoid him. Hippos are territorial and I knew where he was most likely to be at any given time.

That day I’d taken clients out with three apprentice guides – Mike, Ben and Evans – all in kayaks. We were near the end of the tour, the light was softening and we were taking in the tranquillity. The solid whack I felt behind me took me by surprise.

I turned just in time to see Evans, who had been flung out of his boat, flying through the air. His boat, with his two clients still in it, had been lifted half out of the water on the back of the huge bull hippo.

There was a cluster of rocks nearby and I yelled at the nearest apprentice to guide everyone there, to safety. Then I turned my boat and paddled furiously towards Evans.

I reached over to grab his outstretched hand but as our fingers were about to touch, I was engulfed in darkness. There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf.

I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo’s snout. It was only then that I realised I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth.

I wriggled as hard as I could, and in the few seconds for which he opened his jaws, I managed to escape. I swam towards Evans, but the hippo struck again, dragging me back under the surface. I’d never heard of a hippo attacking repeatedly like this, but he clearly wanted me dead.

Hippos’ mouths have huge tusks, slicing incisors and a bunch of smaller chewing teeth. It felt as if the bull was making full use of the whole lot as he mauled me – a doctor later counted almost 40 puncture wounds and bite marks on my body. The bull simply went berserk, throwing me into the air and catching me again, shaking me like a dog with a doll.

Then down we went again, right to the bottom, and everything went still. I remember looking up through 10 feet of water at the green and yellow light playing on the surface, and wondering which of us could hold his breath the longest. Blood rose from my body in clouds, and a sense of resignation overwhelmed me. I’ve no idea how long we stayed under – time passes very slowly when you’re in a hippo’s mouth.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

17 Nov 2009

Too Bad For That Crocodile

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photo:Vaclav Silha
photo:Vaclav Silha

London Times:

Czech photographer Vaclav Silha shooting on the banks of the Grumeti River in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania happened to be in the right place at the right time to record a crocodile’s untimely end.

(An) incautious croc (Crocodylus niloticus) got too close to a female (Hippopotamus amphibius) who had calves and the whole group gathered into a defensive circle.

“The crocodile suddenly raced across the backs of the hippos. It might have panicked and thought it was an escape route. It was the worst choice the reptile could ever have made. And it was definitely its last.

“The island of hippos erupted with teeth and all I could see was the crocodile being repeatedly crushed in their huge mouths. His body slipped below the water and I didn’t see him again.”


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