This post features photos of the African hippo from our trip in November 2022 to South Africa and the Schotia Game Reserve. Hippos are one of the most aggressive animals on the planet, and one of the largest and heaviest. Only elephants and white rhinos are bigger. They kill 500 people each year. Hippos may look slow, but a hippo can outrun any human. And they’re territorial. Don’t get between a hippo and the water!
This hippo was submerged in a watering hole, minding his own business….
He eyed the safari jeep rather crossly when he spotted us. When we didn’t leave, the hippo began to open his jaws.
And open. And OPEN. AND OPEN. This is his (extremely effective!) way of warning potential threats what they’ll deal with if they’re stupid enough to want to come any closer. He gave a shockingly loud roar and held his jaws open for quite a while.
Eventually he grew disgusted, or bored, and left his watering hole. Not without giving us one last, long meaningful look…. A gaze that said, “Just wait til next time, suckers. I’ll get you yet.”
Hippos are listed as a vulnerable species. Save Animals Facing Extinction Org lists ways we can help.
NOTES: A hippo’s closest relative is (wait for it) WHALES. I kid you not. Source: Natural Habitat Adventures A shout out to Theresa at https://heytraveler.com/ for guessing correctly! To learn what to call a group of hippos, go to my earlier posts The Animal Kingdom: 16 & The Animal Kingdom: 36 ©2023 Jadi Campbell. All photos © Uwe Hartmann. Uwe’s photography may be viewed at viewpics.de.
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6 thoughts on “Thinking about Veterinary Dentists”
I had no idea they were related to whales! Great post Jadi..
Thanks June! That hippos and whales are close just doesn’t seem like it should make sense, does it!?
Whales! Who’d have thought.
I agree. But what a fun factoid to know!
Wow! What amazing photographs of the hippopotamus’s mouth and teeth. Can you imagine a human head being held and crushed by the jaws of a hippopotamus?
Gary, if you’re dumb enough to even GET that close to a hippo after he’s given this kind of warning, you probably don’t deserve to remain in the gene pool…