Hippo Walking Through Shallows
Glistening hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) walking through shallows of dam toward the banks, Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi); Lens: Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 200mm; Shutter speed: 1/400; Aperture: f8; ISO: 200.
Additional Info: In the background, five or six Nile crocodiles can be seen lying at the water’s edge and behind them, a couple of hippos looking for green shoots to graze. Hippos and crocs are often seen in close proximity as they share a common habitat in the form of river pools, pans, estuaries and dams, that is often limited in area.
Fortunately, they don’t compete for the same food sources — crocodiles eat meat (mainly fish but also small to medium mammals), while hippos are strictly vegetarian, living solely on plant material. This allows hippos and crocodiles to live amicably together, while keeping a healthy respect for each other.
In his book, Beat About the Bush – Mammals, author Trevor Carnaby says that “a full-grown hippo is more than a match for any crocodile, but baby hippos left unattended are at risk. The fact that hippos with babies are sociable, staying relatively close to one another, and that mother hippos with infants keep them in the shallows, makes attack by crocs highly unlikely. When pools start to dry up, hippos have the upper hand in terms of sheer bulk, and drive away crocs …”
There have been some quite amazing pictures published recently in various online newspapers showing a crocodile walking across the top of a group of tightly packed hippos until one of the hippos takes umbrage and clamps its massive jaws over the croc’s upper body, apparently killing it.
This is clearly unusual behavior and Czech wildlife photographer Vaclav Silha, who took the pictures from the banks of the Grumeti River in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, provides his on-the-spot version of events in this Telegraph article.
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