Heroic Hippo Saves Drowning Baby Zebra [Video]

Despite its fearsome reputation, the hippo gently guided the zebra to shore.

A video has emerged online that depicts a unique moment of cooperation and compassion in the animal kingdom, as a heroic hippo steps in to save a young zebra from drowning in a raging African river.

Though it is unclear where the video was taken, it was uploaded to YouTube in 2010 by user lemalacamps. The clip reveals a wide variety of African wildlife attempting to ford a torrential river, with mixed degrees of success. At about the 1:05 mark, a group of zebras can be seen trying to cross the river, and just a few seconds later, it becomes obvious that one of the younger animals has been separated from the group by the water’s flow.

In an extraordinary turn of events, a hippo rises from the water behind the zebra, and gently pushes it to shallower water. Although they are known to be one of the most deadly and territorial animals to inhabit Africa, the hippo’s actions weren’t a precursor to an attack, as it managed to successfully guide the zebra to shore, as IFLScience points out. Once on land, the hippo even nudged the zebra to move it away from the water, as the smaller animal appeared to be dazed and confused following its experience in the river.

Earlier this year, video of a very different encounter with a hippo spread online. As the Inquisitr previously reported, guests on a photo safari boat recorded a hippo as it charged their boat, eventually rearing out of the water just a few feet away from the vessel’s transom. The hippo was largely invisible while approaching the boat, though the massive animal’s wake could be seen parting the surface, giving an indication of its whereabouts even while submerged.

Hippos are known for being one of the most unpredictable animals in the world, as National Geographic points out. Despite the fact that Africa is also home to lions, hyenas, and cheetahs (among a wide range of other deadly animals), hippos still rank as the most dangerous animal on the continent. In addition to killing and maiming humans, they have also been photographed on numerous occasions attacking and even killing crocodiles. Luckily for one young zebra, however, hippos are apparently not without compassion as well.

[Image via YouTube / lemalacamps]