Leopards are curious cats, always ready for a challenge. When seeing something in the mud this leopard was intrigued, but it did not expect a giant hippopotamus to emerge. This leopard was looking for a quick meal but was surprised to find something much more menacing. This video of a leopard and hippo was recorded in South Africa, in Kruger National Park.
In the wild leopards eat medium-sized animals like jackals, hogs, birds, fish, and even smaller things like insects. Hippos are one animal that a leopard does not want to mess with. Although they are herbivores, hippos are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
There are two species of Hippos alive today which is the common hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius), and the smaller pygmy hippo (Choreopsis liberiensis). Leopards and hippos both live in Africa, meaning they sometimes may cross paths with each other.
Hippos in Mud
Hippos like the one in the video love mud, and they live in habitats like mangroves, rivers, lakes, and other places where they can easily cool off. Covering itself in mud helps hippos stay out of the blistering sun, and works as a way to prevent insects from biting them. The water is where hippos are most comfortable, and they are able to hold their breath for up to 5 minutes. When submerged their ears, nose, and eyes are kept shut to keep out any water trying to get in.
Hippos are even able to sleep underwater. Without waking up they can rise from the water to catch their breath, then sink back down to enjoy their rest. Muddy waterways are essential for a hippo’s survival since these large beasts have very sensitive skin. If out in the sun for too long they may become extremely dry, and catch a nasty sunburn.
Leopard V.S. Hippo
Leopards are amazing predators, but they are no match for a hippo. The common hippo is the third largest land mammal, and on average weighs between 3,000 to 4,000 lbs. Their size is not the only thing that makes them a deadly enemy. Hippos also have an extremely strong bite force, with jaws capable of producing around 1,800 PSI of force. The large mouth of a hippo is able to open up to 150 degrees and is strong enough to snap a crocodile clean in half.
Luckily leopards are agile, and their quick senses can help them evade danger. A leopard’s bite force is only around 300 PSI, but its strength comes from its sneakiness, and ability to ambush prey quickly. It is very rare for a leopard to attack a hippo, but they may do so if extremely hungry, or feel in danger. Hippos are kings of the rivers in Africa, and even the sight of one is enough to frighten any animal.
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- Hippo Pink Sweat , Available here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-hippopotamuses-actuall/
- Hippo Facts , Available here: https://stluciasouthafrica.com/hippo-facts/
- Leopards Africa , Available here: https://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/leopard