Cape Town - Daunting footage showing a massive, and not-so-friendly-looking hippo, chase after a speedboat and narrowly miss the rear of the boat as it launches out of the water on the Chobe River in Botswana is a chilling reminder why hippopotamus are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
Toby Jermyn, of Pangolin Photo Safaris shared the experience with Traveller24 saying, "At the beginning of the year one of our clients captured this amazing footage of a hippo charging our photo boat in The Chobe."
The incident took place on the 6th of January 2015, when Pangolin client photographer/videographer, Craig Clive Jackson
of Johannesburg, South Africa captured the scary, yet incredible footage. (Photo: Gerhard “Guts” Swanepoel, Pangolin.com)
Jermyn said, "We are in the middle of the rainy season in Botswana and as you can see the grass is long and the animals well fed and active. Its at this time of year that the huge numbers of hippos on the Chobe enter their breeding season.
"Hippos (Hippopotamus Amphibious) are very territorial animals and we are always aware of their position on the river so as to give them a wide berth. Throughout most of the year the hippos ignore the boat and we can photograph them using our long lenses. If they feel that we are getting too close they will often open their immense jaws in a display of warning that we are encroaching on their territory too much but thats about it....they then return to a more sedate posture.
"During breeding season however the "bulls" (males) have huge amount of testosterone coursing through their veins and they become very aggressive....mostly to one another. We have often witnessed brutal fights between rival males (from a very safe distance of course).
"In the video you can see that our clients were photographing these hippos from quite some distance when the hippo decided to charge. Our guides are well experienced and, in some instances, know particular animals who are known aggressors in certain parts of the river and guides give them an ever wider berth."
But as Jermyn notes, what's really staggering is the animal's speed through the water.
"They literally run along the bottom of the river rather than swimming and then launch themselves upwards. The bow wave is the general warning but the guides know that the animal is several meters closer than the front of the wave," said Jermyn
"We have never once had an instance where we have been hit by a hippo as the guides are too wary for that but there have been instances where the animals strike another boat or their outboard engine causing huge damage. They have 12" protruding tusks on their lower jaws that can puncture the hull of a boat with ease especially when you consider that there is several tonnes of angry animal behind it!"
Jermyn added that hippos are amazing animals and a joy to photograph especially when displaying to each other but stressed that they should always be regarded with extreme caution and respect as they are "without doubt Africa's biggest killer (from the mammals anyway)"
Pangolin Photo Safaris operates all year round on the Chobe River in Botswana, teaching wildlife photography skills.
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