Huge Hippo Stands Off Against a Lion Pride and Determines Today Is Not the Day

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Lion cub chasing young hippo, lions claws in hippos's back. This was an unsucessful hunt. High quality photo
iStock.com/Alla Tsytovich

Finding yourself alone in the wild is never ideal. That’s why in most cases, you will see animals that live in packs or herds. While many animals live in solitary, the majority of all animals can be found in groups. However, this is not the case for one lonely hippo.

From the video below from Masai Mara, Africa, it is quite strange to see this hippopotamus alone and on land. It is typical to see hippos in herds, anywhere from 10-20 members, and in or near water. 

Those who shot this incredible footage state early on that the male-dominant hippo could have possibly cast out this lone hippo. As the herd leader, the dominant male hippo has the authority to outcast other hippos, especially other males who try to rival for the dominant seat. 

The hippo walks around the open plains of Africa, wandering almost as if he is lost and doesn’t know what else he can do. In unchartered land, it’s not long before this enormous hippo accidentally wanders onto lion pride territory. 

Two huge hippos fighting with each other in the pond, Masai Mara

Hippos have two tusks that can reach 20 inches long. They will uses these tusks as weapons in a fight.

The pride quickly creates a formation around this large hippo. Typically the type of formation you might see if they were going to take their prey down. However, it is clear from the video below that this pride is not interested in hunting this hippo down for food. They are merely trying to get this hippo away from their territory. 

They have successfully backed this hippo into a corner of their territory. Up against the brush, the hippo knows that he has no moves. He is alone, and he doesn’t wish to fight. Against a whole pride, this lone hippo would not be so lucky. 

Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) Facts

Hippos live long lives of 40-50 years in the wild.

This hippo from the family Hippopotamidae is commonly seen in lakes, rivers, and wetlands in Africa. These large land animals are an easy threat based on size alone. 

Weighing in at 2,200-9,900 pounds and reaching lengths of 6.5-16.5 feet long, these hippos are not an easy kill to take down. Their most common predators are hyenas, crocodiles, and lions. 

As large as these beasts can get, they are actually herbivores, and their diets consist of grass, grain, and flowers. It is estimated that hippos can get as much as 110 pounds of food per day. 

Is It Normal For Hippos To Defend Themselves

A territorial Hippo bull makes a huge gaping yawn as a warning to other males to keep out of his territory. They will also make this threat gesture to humans on the riverbank.

The bite force of a hippo is incredibly strong. You definitely don’t want to get a hippo bite.

Hippos are large, peaceful creatures, but they can be quite formidable when threatened. When attacked, they use a combination of physical and vocal defenses to fend off predators.

Physically, hippos have thick, tough skin, which provides good protection against most predators. They also have strong jaws and sharp teeth, which they use to bite and defend themselves. Additionally, they can charge at an attacker, using their large size and weight to their advantage.

Vocally, hippos are equipped with a loud, low-frequency roar that can be heard over long distances. This sound is used to deter predators, as well as to signal to other hippos in the area.

In conclusion, hippos are capable of defending themselves against most predators using their physical and vocal defenses. Their thick skin, sharp teeth, loud roars, and large size make them formidable opponents.

A Lion’s Normal Diet

Lions hunting a rhino Etosha National park Namibia

Lions are cats and, therefore, carnivores.

A lion is a large, predatory cat native to Africa and parts of India. Its diet typically consists of medium to large-sized ungulates, such as antelopes, zebras, and wildebeests. Lions also hunt smaller prey, including rodents, hares, and birds. In some cases, they’ve been known to take down larger prey such as buffalo and giraffes.

It is not normal for a lion to eat a hippo, as this type of prey is usually too large for a single lion to take down. However, if a group of lions works together, they may be able to take down and consume a hippo. In such cases, the lions will usually consume the hippo over a few days or longer, depending on the size of the kill.


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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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