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Curious Hippo Learns A Lesson From Rhinos

Footage captured by Mike Kirkman, head ranger at Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa, shows a rare, and somewhat confusing, interaction between two of Africa’s biggest and heaviest mammals.

When asked if he had witnessed anything of the like before, Kirkman stated, “never …before or since.”

It’s not normal to see an interaction like this between any animal – never mind the 2nd and 3rd largest species! As always, when nature throws a curveball like this, as a guide – it is very difficult to explain.

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As you can see in the video, it is not an overly aggressive meeting, but more a confused one.


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Although there’s no obvious explanation for the encounter, Kirkman suggested the hippo was simply ‘curious and lonely’. A drought in the area meant most other hippos had moved off, so interactions were at a premium.

…I don’t think it had anything to do with food/resource disputes as we were far from the river and there was no grass on the runway to fight over – I think this hippo may have simply been lonely and bored or simply curious.

Fortunately, no injured animals were spotted as a result of the encounter