Hippo to hippo

A full 180 degree grin
A full 180 degree grin

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Hippos have been one of my favorite animals for quite some time. I only get to see them occasionally since vultures usually aren’t near the water (although with all the drowning wildebeest that has changed). Going from Talek to the main crossing you have to go through “double crossing” which consists of two dips into the river in an odd turn. The first dip is fairly quiet, but the second is called stinky crossing – because of the hippos. Usually there are two sleeping in the water as your car leans sideways to cross the rocky bottom. But today when we reached stinky crossing, there was a car in waiting. Probably just tourists who hadn’t seen hippos yet, I figured.

When we neared the water I could see that two hippos were standing on the rocks about 50 m from the crossing. And they were fighting. One hippo opened its mouth, stretching its jaw to the full 180 degrees that it is capable off, it pressed its head against its contender and uttered a most unusual sound. Genuinely the only thing I know that was similar is the roar of the Tyrannosaurus rex in Jurassic Park. I had never heard a hippo make that noise before. The sound continued as did the jaw opening until the darker and pink spotted male accepted defeat. He turned his back and walked away as the winner sprayed himself and a nearby bush with some dung.

One thought on “Hippo to hippo

  1. Amazing, Corinne. thanks for sharing all these fascinating facts and photos!!! <3

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