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Hippos Attack Lion That’s Stranded on a Rock in a River

A male lion wanders into the wrong territory and finds himself stuck in the middle of a river surrounded by angry hippos! Will he be able to swim to safety?

As co-owner and guide at South Post in Kruger, I’ve seen some incredible sightings, but nothing quite like this. 30-year-old Steyn Jacobson shared the footage he recorded from Mjejane Game Reserve, in Kruger National Parks crocodile river with

“We started off with a quiet morning, so we went down to the river for our morning coffee stop. So that the guests could enjoy the view, as it was my last drive with them. Always looking around for something, I saw the hippo’s strange behavior. As we watched, the hippos grew increasingly agitated and started to circle a rock, clearly unhappy with it.”

Lions and water typically don’t mix well, as lions are not great swimmers and are often hesitant to enter bodies of water. So seeing this male lion stuck on a rock in the middle of the river was a truly unique sight.

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“Looking through my binoculars, I saw what appeared to be a male lion. Stranded on the rock, surrounded by tons of angry hippos. All of a sudden, a big hippo went for the lion, and the lion had no choice but to jump off and into the water. In the end, another hippo went for the lion, but luckily, he missed it.”


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As we later discovered, the male lion we saw was a young nomad, not one of the dominant males in the area. Male lions typically defend a specific territory, but young males often roam around until they establish their own territory. It was clear that this male lion had wandered into the wrong territory, and the hippos were not going to let him off easily.

“For anyone lucky enough to witness a rare sighting like this, my advice is to take it all in and savor every moment. These moments are fleeting, and you never know when you might witness something truly special in the wild. Guests always ask us what’s the rarest thing you’ve ever seen, and this is at the top, a very unique sight indeed.”

Written by Mohammed Kathrada

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