Watch as a Hippo Forces a Gazelle Right into the Jaws of Wild Dogs!

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: October 18, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Hippos are extremely territorial, aggressive, and protective of their young. They’ve been known to kill lions, hyenas, alligators, and even humans.
  • African wild dogs belong to their own genus Lycaon pictus and are distinct from both domesticated dogs and wolves.
  • Watch the heart-rending video below where a poor, defenseless gazelle must contend with both a pack of hungry African wild dogs as well as an aggressive hippo.

In the wild, survival is a constant battle, and the struggle for life can sometimes take unexpected turns. A recent video captured some wildlife drama as a gazelle found itself running from a pack of African wild dogs. Desperate to escape, the gazelle decided to head into a nearby watering hole. As the video shows, however, something more dangerous was waiting in the water!

Watch A Hippo Force a Gazelle Into A Pack of Wild Dogs!

@rabit987665 Wilddog vs hippo #wild #animals #wildlife #wildnature #wildanimals #attack #wilddog #hippo ♬ nhạc nền – Wankada 🐆

A Gazelle Faces Two Threats

As the video begins, we see a massive hippo run a pack of frantic wild dogs back from the shoreline. The hippo grows upset as it watches the wild dogs trespass on its land. Why would they do such a thing? Well, as the next clip shows, the dogs were chasing some prey that attempts to escape into the watering hole, knowing the dogs probably wouldn’t follow.

Cut to another clip, and we can see the prey that the dogs were chasing – a gazelle. The gazelle is tiny. It swims as fast as it can but is not good in the water. Incredibly, in the distance behind the gazelle, we can see the massive hippo lurk, seemingly unaware of the trespasser.

Hippo Attack

Hippos are very dangerous creatures, on land and in the water!

©Martin Mecnarowski/

With a boldness that only a wild dog could have, one of the pack members decides to risk it all. It leaps into the water, looking to drag the gazelle out. Incredibly, it somehow manages to make it to its prey without the hippo detecting it. It directs the drowning animal out.

We don’t see what happens after the video. Yet, it’s probably safe to say that the gazelle was out of the frying pan and into the fryer. Or, as the new saying should go, out of the hippo-infested waters and onto the African wild dog-infested shore. Neither is a fate that any gazelle would hope for.

Are African Wild Dogs Actually Dogs?

Wild dogs hunting

African wild dogs regularly hunt prey like gazelles, but a hippo is definitely off the menu.

©charles Hopkins/

African wild dogs, despite their name, are not domesticated dogs. They belong to a distinct species known as Lycaon pictus. One might think they are wolves; however, they aren’t! They have their own genus, as African wild dogs are distinct from both domesticated dogs and wolves. Many people refer to them commonly as “painted dogs,” especially in a group.

Is This Normal Behavior for a Hippo?

Hippos are very dangerous animals, both on land and in the water. They have been responsible for the deaths of lions, hyenas, alligators, and even humans. In fact, around 500 humans a year are killed by hippos. Even though hippos are strictly herbivores, they are extremely territorial, aggressive, and protective of their young.

The aggressive maneuver where the hippo flips the poor defenseless gazelle over in the water is not unheard of. There is other footage in cyberspace of hippos crushing a gazelle, as well as an antelope. While neither of these animals would seem to pose a threat to a massive hippo, hippos are unpredictable and can punish the unfortunate animal that finds itself in their territory. In this case, the gazelle on the receiving end of aggression, and even worse, had a pack of hungry wild dogs to contend with if it did by chance make it to shore alive.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Richard Juilliart/

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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