If you’ve watched enough wildlife encounters, you probably know that, despite their reputation in popular culture, hippos are NOT gentle giants.
When bothered, these massive creatures are extremely aggressive and highly dangerous. But apparently, they can be deadly even when they’re not angry. In fact, any animal who inadvertently enters their territory risks not making out alive.
This was the case for a kudu who wandered into the water near a hippo while trying to evade a pack of wild dogs in Kruger National Park. At first, the hippo looked as if it was trying to rescue the kudu from its attackers, but the situation quickly turned fatal.
The hippo appeared to be trying to drag the kudu to safety by trying to scoop the animal into its mouth, but perhaps underestimating its own strength, it ended up killing the kudu instead. It’s not clear whether the animal drowned or succumbed to its injuries when one of the hippo’s teeth gored its body. But either way, it was limp and lifeless by the time the hippo pushed it to the water’s edge — where the wild dogs stood waiting.
“It was amazing to see the hippo get the kudu to the water’s edge and then try and get it back on its feet while protecting it from the dog invasion, but it was sickening to see the way the hippo and dogs were having a tug of war with the kudu,” Carolyn Wridgway, who took the video, told Latestsightings.com.
“It saddened us to see this huge animal looking so deflated when it must have realized the kudu was dead and there was nothing more that could be done. The battle was lost.”
“When the sad hippo left, the dogs ripped into the kudu and dragged it behind a bush,” said Wridgway. “When they were done, two dogs stayed near the carcass and kept chasing away the vultures. Eventually, the dogs gave up protecting the carcass and left it for the vultures to feast on, this too was an amazing sighting to have seen.”
“We have never witnessed a kill taking place so this was exceptionally rare for us and even more so given the nature of the kill.”
During the ordeal, Wridgway’s 8-year-old granddaughter can be heard innocently commenting on the action, saying “Hippos are so good… sometimes.” She remained positive despite the sad turn of events, even calling the hippo a “superhero.”
Watch the full video below: