Watch a Bully Rhino Pick a Fight With the Worst Possible Hippo

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Rhino looking at camera

Animals picking fights with other animals is one of the most primal things there can be, whether it is fighting for territory, food, or just because they are all valid reasons in the wild. And it’s nothing short of exciting to be able to see videos of these fights happening. It is even more exciting when these fights are between large animals such as the rhinoceros and hippopotamus.

The video posted below takes place in Hlane Park in Swaziland, South Africa.  A small group of hippopotamuses, more commonly referred to as a bloat, are seen on their territory near the water, sunbathing and enjoying their day. 

A group of rhinoceros, more commonly known as a crash, are coming up on the hippo’s territory wanting to graze and get some water. 

In the video below, we see the majority of the rhinos holding back, as they can sense this is hippo territory and not approaching too quickly. However, for one large rhino, he was not willing to stay back. He was determined to show his dominance as well. And seemingly kick all these hippos out at once. 

The first small hippo that approaches this rhino quickly scurries off. He is too young to fight this enormous male rhino. Making him bold, the rhino then proceeds to pass this young hippo and go straight toward the largest male he can find. 

Just as he does, the enormous male hippo opens his large mouth and charges a few feet at the rhino. This rhino, almost laughingly, quite literally hightails it out of there! He realizes now that he made a mistake. 

How Many Rhinos Are Left Today?

rhinoceros standing in a field

Rhinos and


tend to often fight each other over territory.

© Carrera

While there are literal trillions of animals on this planet as a whole, there are over three million species alone.  And while most of these animals are in abundance and flourishing. There are many whose species are slowly dying.

Sadly, the rhinoceros is one such animal. There are approximately 26,272 rhinos in the world today. Their conservation status has been updated to be considered endangered because of this. 

Of all the rhino species, the Sumatran rhino is considered to be the most threatened species. According to the Save the Rhino Foundation, “There are now estimated to be between 34 and 47 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, and efforts are now being invested in captive breeding in an attempt to boost the population.” 

Is it Normal for Rhinos to Fight with Hippos?

Rhino and hippo grazing next to each other

Rhinos and hippos are generally peaceful animals that prefer to avoid conflict.

©Andrea Izzotti/

Both rhinos and hippos are generally peaceful animals that prefer to avoid conflict. As they live in similar areas, it is quite common for them to come into contact with one another although they typically do not have any interaction so it is not normal for them to actively seek out and fight with each other. They both have incredible strength and are highly territorial and despite the fact that they may not normally fight, there are certain instances where this does occur. When they have been in conflict, it is usually over three factors – food, family, and territory – although, these encounters are few.

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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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