Cheetahs may be the fastest land animal but a determined hippopotamus can still get the upper hand on this speedy cat in the right situation.
This short clip shows a hippo dominating a cheetah as the smaller animal tries to run past.
Cheetahs can reach speeds up to 60 mph or more. That’s as fast as many cars on the highway! However, they can only get to top speed for short bursts. Think of these animals as the world’s best sprinters but the worst marathon runners. This helps them take down prey, even those that are also speedy. But if they have to chase their dinner, chances are the other animal will outlast them. They can also use this impressive speed to escape other predators or animals that just want to keep them away from their space. That’s likely the case with this cheetah that got too close to the wrong hippo.
The cheetah may have an advantage when it comes to speed but a hippo is gargantuan. The animal uses its size to take down the smaller cat. Hippos typically weigh between 2,200 and 9,900 pounds. Only elephants and the large White Rhinoceros are larger. This heavy fella used this bulk to tackle the cheetah and take him down. Cheetahs are closer to 160 pounds at their largest and are no match for the hippo when it comes to size.
Amazingly, hippos maintain their heavy weight on a diet of grass and other vegetation. They like things that they can find around the water. So, the hippo wasn’t going after the cheetah for an afternoon snack. It is more likely that the cheetah, a carnivore, was after more vulnerable hippos nearby. The large adult may have been attacking the cheetah to keep it from getting to its young. Hippos can also be very territorial and attack because they feel threatened for a variety of reasons.
Hippos can be aggressive, which is clear from this video. They use their jaws to clamp onto other animals that they feel are a threat. As this hippo goes after the cheetah, it gets a good grip on the cheetah’s middle and drag it to the ground. Dust flies up around the two but it is still easy to see that the hippo is the winner.
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