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Hippo Surrounded by Wild Dogs

Watch as a lone hippo faces off against a pack of wild dogs in a tense standoff. Who will emerge victorious? Find out in our latest post.

Megan Galbraith Avatar

Tensions rise as a pack of wild dogs circles a lone hippo, forcing it into a defensive position. With the persistent wild dogs probing for an opening, the standoff intensifies. What will the hippo do next…

Game ranger Gareth van Rooyen from MalaMala Game Reserve was following a moving pack of wild dogs when suddenly they happened upon a massive lone hippo. The pack decided to test this hippo for weaknesses to see if they could get lucky.

Hippos feel safest when they are in the water as it helps support their body weight, making it easier to move, and provides some safety from predators. It is no surprise that this hippo decided to quickly dash into the small water pool, making a splash of its mighty force.

With the whole pack circling the small pool, the hippo continues to change its positioning. While doing so, it scatters and flings its dung with a quick swiping motion of its tail. This is a territorial gesture and a warning to the pesky wild dogs. This is his turf and they are not welcome! Hippos are extremely territorial and will ferociously protect their habitat from any intruders.

As intimidating as a fully grown hippo can be, the wild dogs are not yet deterred and continue to circle. Wild dogs are opportunistic hunters where they will eat a variety of food based on what is available to them. They adapt their hunting strategy depending on their prey. However, to catch larger animals, they will typically use endurance and teamwork in order to exhaust their target.

This is not the hippo’s first rodeo… he aggressively grunts and snorts at the pack. One particular wild dog tests the hippo’s patience a bit too much, causing it to launch out of the water. The dog quickly retreats at this incredibly intimidating display.

The alpha female and male are seen in the foreground accepting their defeat with a yawn. After they move off, two determined wild dogs continue to try to find a weakness. Luckily, they wisely decide that the two of them are no match for a 1500 kg hippo and eventually move off too. Peace at the little water pool has finally returned to the hippo once more.

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