Hippo vs. Wild Dogs: Stand-Off at Watering Hole

Hippo vs. Wild Dogs: Stand-Off at Watering Hole


Hippos are well-known for their unpredictable and aggressive nature — these guys kill an estimated 3,000 people every year.

What you may not know is that the colossal herbivores are extremely territorial, especially when predators invade their turf. Most predators know not to mess with a full grown hippo; in general, only a pride of lions would dare to taunt a hippo this large.

These African wild dogs, however, are risking it for the chance to reach the impala swimming nearby. The spotted hounds excel at what’s called persistence hunting: Working together in packs of up to 20 animals, they isolate and corner their prey until they become exhausted — then they pounce. They were likely stalking the impala for an extended period of time before it made its last ditch effort to get into the water.

It may have worked in the impala’s favor. The dogs attempt to stay close to the water’s edge to maintain a visual of the impala while avoiding aggressive advances by the hippo. The hippo is having none of it; He bares his teeth and charges repeatedly, making it impossible for the wild dogs to reach their prey. The dogs relentless effort may have been for nothing; In the end, it appears that the hippo got his way.