If you’re looking for proof that 4,000-pound hippos are far more dangerous than the average crocodile, you’ve found it.
Outsiders: What has the body of an elephant, the wrath of Odin, and the maw of an all-consuming nightmare beast? Why hippopotamuses, of course.
For us North Americans, it doesn’t get much scarier than crocodilians. Our American alligators can grow to tremendous size and are indeed man-eaters. Down at the tip of Florida, you’ll find one of the only places on Earth where alligators and crocodiles co-exist, too. Which should surprise exactly no one who’s ever been to Florida.
Yet Africa is on a whole other level. The mother continent – the very cradle of life – hosts time-tested predators so fierce, so awe-inspiring, that only the bravest (and luckiest) of any species survive to a ripe old age. Even the herbivores will swallow you whole. Case in point: hippos.
At up to 10,000-pounds (yes, really), over 5 foot at the shoulder, and 10 to 15-feet long, the hippopotamus is a true giant of nature. So much so, in fact, that the handful of crocodile species that co-habit Africa stand no chance against an adult hippo. Not even close.
Seeing this in action is unsettling, to say the least. And the popular NaturePredators account over on Instagram is sharing a prime example of hippo-power vs. unfortunate-croc Wednesday. Observe:
Ouch. It’s an unfair fight, sure, as there’s a good 3-dozen hippos present picking on a single African crocodile (looks to be a Nile croc). But instead of letting the large predator go about its business, these mammoth mammals take zero chances.
Danger, Danger, Danger: Hyper Hippo Aggression is the Norm
Whether to protect the weaker members of their herd or especially their young, hippos have a habit of absolutely annihilating any croc that comes into their turf. This behavior is well-documented. Yet we outlanders still have a hard time swallowing it, because there’s just no way a big lumbering herbivore can rip a gigantic, man-eating reptile to shreds, right? Wrong.
Hippos will attack just about anything they don’t want in their territory, too, not just crocs. Wandering wildebeest often fall prey to the wrath of ornery hippos, as well. As do we humans. Often.
As NaturePredators cites, “Many of our followers were shocked at the aggression of the Hippo in our last breakdown! So, we decided to take it up a notch to paint the full picture for you.”
Consider this picture vividly painted. The footage at hand is one of the strongest examples of “an angry mob of Hippos,” as the page calls them, “abusing and mangling” a crocodile.
“This behavior is very common from the big bully and should be considered the norm for this species, rather than an odd moment out,” NaturePredators continues.
So if you find yourself within range of a hippo, there best possible thing to do is to back away slowly. Don’t run, display aggression, make loud noises, or anything in-between.
As NaturePredators says, “The best game to play, rather, is prevention.”
Still, they cite, “500 people are killed by Hippos each year.”