Hippos Use Crocodiles as Chew Toys

In Africa, Nile crocodiles are highly dangerous and estimated to be responsible for 275 to 745 attacks per year — more than any other crocodile species combined. Yet, crocodiles are not the most dangerous animals in Africa. That title goes to the hippopotamus.

Hippos are the most aggressive and dangerous animals in Africa, and unlike crocodiles, they can and will capsize small boats and kill whomever has ventured into their territory.

Hippo Mouth - Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

However, in many parts of Africa, crocs and hippos both share the same habitat; so what happens when the two meet?

Well, not much.

Generally, crocs leave hippos alone and stay on their good side because hippos are much bigger and stronger than they are. Even baby hippos are generally left alone.

While baby hippos separated from their mothers are easy prey for crocs, when mama hippo is around, baby hippos are quite safe and can even lick and chew on crocs like teething rings without repercussions. That’s because crocs know better than to make a hippo angry — especially a mother hippo.

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In the video below, you’ll see just how much leeway crocs grant hippos to appease them. Even in greater numbers, the crocs will respect the hippos’ presence and avoid confrontation.