Passengers on a photo safari boat in Africa were astonished recently when a massive hippo charged them, displaying its incredible speed in the water as it streaked toward their vessel before narrowly missing it.
Video of the hippo’s charge was recorded by one of the passengers on the boat, Craig Jackson, as the group traveled along the Chobe River in Botswana, according to the Huffington Post. The amazing footage was captured on January 6, and depicts the hippo at a distance from the boat, before the animal submerges. Only a bow wake cutting across the surface gives any indication of the hippo’s location, though as Pangolin Photo Safaris‘ Toby Jermyn observes, it is only an approximation of the animal’s raw power.
“They literally run along the bottom of the river rather than swimming and then launch themselves upwards. The bow wave is the general warning but the guides know that the animal is several meters closer than the front of the wave,” he noted.
As the angry hippo launches from the water, it appears dauntingly close, though Jackson’s father, who posted the video to YouTube, said that the animal was even nearer to the boat than it appears. Jermyn observed that while no boat from Pangolin Photo Safaris has ever been struck by a hippo, some other companies had not been so lucky, with the animals inflicting major damage.
“They have 12″ protruding tusks on their lower jaws that can puncture the hull of a boat with ease, especially when you consider that there is several tonnes of angry animal behind it!”
— Pangolin Safaris (@PangolinPhoto) January 17, 2015
Highly territorial animals, hippos are considered one of the most deadly in Africa. As Traveller 24 notes, river guides in Botswana give the animals a wide berth, especially individual hippos that are known to be aggressive. Though they will ignore boats for most of the year, hippos become far more volatile during their breeding season, as brutal fights are incited between rival males.
In an unusual attack reported two years ago, a guide on the Zambezi River found himself not only thrown from his boat, but caught in the jaws of a hippo once he struck the water. As the Inquisitr previously related, the man survived the ordeal, though he lost his left arm, eventually encountering the same hippo again as he returned to guiding boats down the river.
[Image: YouTube/ David Jackson]