WATCH VIDEO BELOW
Last year when I was in Uganda, a man told me a story about a gamekeeper who outran a hippopotamus. I didn’t believe the story at first but then I looked it up and it turned out to be true
Turns out the guy was a gamekeeper at Murchison Falls National Park. He got a little too close to one of the park hippos. The hippo charged him and the guy had to run for it.
Luckily the gamekeeper was a very good runner and out ran the hippo. Most people wouldn’t be able to do that. Hippos have been clocked at speeds up to 24 miles per hour.
HIPPO KILL MORE HUMANS THAN ANY OTHER ANIMAL IN AFRICA
Hippos may look like over sized harmless cows to some people, but truth be told they are one of the most dangerous beasts in Africa and kill more humans that any other big animal there. More than four hundred people in Africa have been killed by rampaging hippos. This figure far exceeds the death toll from lions, tigers or any other wild animals.
A hippo can chop a croc in half with just one bite
Hippos can weigh up to 9000 pounds and and have teeth that are as sharp as razor blades. These beasts are vegetarians and don’t eat people. But they will crush you between their giant jaws if angered. This is what happened to Spencer Tyron, a African hunter who was attacked by a bull hippo. The animal’s crushing bite was so powerful it sliced off Tyron’s head as well as his shoulders.
Hippos are known to attack on land, but most attacks from Hippos come in the water when people in boats get too close to them. There are dozens of videos on Youtube showing this. In one, it shows a hippo actually attacking the outboard motors on the vessel.
In most cases, the driver is able to get away quickly enough, but sometimes the hippo gets the upper hand and tragedy quickly ensues. This is what happened to a young honeymoon couple from South Africa.
HONEYMOON TRAGEDY – MAN’S NEW WIFE KILLED BY HIPPO
Bruce Simpson and his wife Janice were on safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. They were traveling in a canoe with a guide. The canoe came too close to a hippo and was attacked. The hippo tipped the canoe over. It then crushed young Janice between it’s jaws and bit through her heart and lung. She died instantly.
HIPPO VETERINARIAN ATTACK
Even professionals find it difficult to work with Hippo. In 2010 a group of veterinarians were testing a new sedative on a Hippo in South Africa. The sedative turned out to be too weak. The animal woke up and attacked one of the doctors. He would have been killed if it had not been for an armed game warden who shot and killed the animal.
Scientists testing a tranquilizer get a little two close
HOW TO AVOID A HIPPO ATTACK
If by chance you find yourself confronted with a Hippo, here are a few tips that might come in handy.
• If you’re in a canoe, allow hippos plenty of space. Avoid rivers where numbers are concentrated.
• Tap the side of the boat to signal your position so hippos do not come up beneath you.
• Keep your distance when on foot. Avoid thickets where hippos may be skulking.
• Listen out for oxpecker calls – a warning sign that there may be a hippo around.
• Clapping your hands, waving your arms or shouting is likely to have no effect on a charging hippo. Your only hope is to seek immediate refuge behind or up a tree or behind a termite mound.