Likely thinking the reptile posed a threat to their young, the adult hippos came together to defend the herd. In a dramatic scene, the cornered croc frantically thrashed around in an attempt to escape, as the angry hippos surrounded it and took turns chomping at its writhing body.
A group of safari-goers watched in amazement as the croc finally managed to free itself from the jaws of a large hippo before making a dash to safety beneath the water’s surface.
Crocodiles and hippos share territory but generally don’t mess with one another, with the exception of crocs occasionally preying on young hippos. Still, most crocodiles have the good sense to stay clear and avoid risking the wrath of a fully grown adult hippo. It makes sense, given the hippo’s highly aggressive nature, intimidating size and the insane bite force those massive bone-crushing jaws produce.
Crocs will even go as far as letting young hippos gnaw on them like chew toys to avoid confrontations with nearby mother hippos. The unusual behavior has been documented a number of times, though scientists are still unsure of the reasoning behind it.
Despite its own powerful bite (which it deployed against the hippos to no avail,) this crocodile learned that even it was no match for Africa’s most dangerous mammal.