Watch a Cocky Hyena Bite a Hippo’s Eye

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: January 31, 2023
© Martin Mecnarowski/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

What does this hyena think it is doing? This intriguing footage shows an adult hyena (probably a spotted hyena) seemingly going out of its way to annoy a dozing hippo? Why would it do that and why is the hippo so relaxed about it? We did some research to come up with some potential explanations.

Why You Don’t Want to Annoy a Hippo!

The hippo may come across as a slightly quirky looking but largely harmless creature that lies around in mud all day but don’t be fooled! A hippo can do a lot of damage to another animal if they choose to.

Firstly, they are big and heavy – adults measure 16 feet in length and can weigh more than four tons! They have surprisingly dangerous teeth with canines that can be 20 inches long and a hugely powerful bite force. It can be up to 1,800 PSI which is greater than a polar bear’s! They actually have a very unusual set of teeth for a herbivore.

Their skin is very tough making them hard to injure, and over short distances they can run as fast as a human. When it comes to their behavior, both males and females can be highly aggressive. It is estimated that they kill around 500 people a year and are not the sort of animal that would take kindly to being bitten on the eye!

Deadliest Animal in the World: Hippopotamuses
Hippos have very long canines for a herbivore!


Hyenas Scavenging and Hunting

Hippos are a very ambitious target for any predator to take on. Nevertheless, lions, crocodiles and hyenas will have a go. They are not so likely to be successful with a fit, adult hippo so they tend to target younger, older and sick animals who cannot defend themselves.

Hyenas are scavengers and feed off carcasses of animals killed by other predators. It is possible that the hyena genuinely though the hippo was dead! The fact that the hippo is not responding very much, may indicate that it is sick.

Hyenas do not just scavenge, they also hunt their own prey. These predators mainly target antelopes, wildebeest and birds but they are opportunistic hunters and will also eat zebras, rabbits, snakes and even insects. Hyenas have a reputation for being clean eaters and will often polish off the entire carcass. That includes any skin, hair and even bones!

Next up:

Watch a Hippo Chase a Boat With Shocking Speed and Strength

Watch a Leopard Accidentally Hunt a Hippo, and Return Later for a Meal

Watch a Hippo Try to Flip a Fishing Boat With One Powerful Headbutt

Up Next:

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The Featured Image

Hippo Attack
Hippos have been known to charge after humans!
© Martin Mecnarowski/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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