Watch the Fierce Strength This Mother Hippo Has Over Her Calf Against Her Hippo Family

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: December 1, 2023

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Wild Newborn Baby Hippopotamas calf and Mother In Africa
© iStock.com/nwbob

When we think of a mother’s love for defending her young, we imagine some ruthless predator of a different species attacking. However, in the case of the video shown above, the danger her calf was in was a little too close to home. 

Hippo Sighting

The YouTube video posted at the top of this blog post takes us to Africa from the looks of the surrounding territory and animals present. BBC Earth filmed, narrated, and shared this video, which has received over three million views. They describe the video as follows: “Chaos erupts when a new mother introduces her calf into the hippopotamus pod…” 

Mother Hippo Introduces Calf To Hippo Pod

At the start of this video, we see a mother hippo and her calf are heading back to their family. Animals Research adds that a group of hippos, “is known as “bloat.” There are also names like herd, pod, and school.” 

This calf is only several weeks old, but it is finally old enough to be introduced to the rest of the hippos. However, the narrator warns that returning with a newborn calf can be very risky. As she slowly approaches, she tries to let them know she is a part of their family. 

She must first go through the bull hippo, the leader of this family and defender of this territory. Male hippos can weigh upwards of 9,000+ pounds and are the largest mammals on Earth. This bull can either give the mother and her calf a free pass, or he could end this calf’s life with one swift blow. 

However, the real threat shockingly comes from this mother’s previous calf, a jealous full-grown hippo. She starts to have an unhealthy obsession with the young calf. And the mother is carefully making sure her calf doesn’t get harmed. The narrator comments this calf is too young to be pushed around. The jealous hippo bites the calf, and the mother comes to his defense and chases it off. 

How Many Calves Do Hippos Have?

Hippo calf, 3 months old, isolated, Hippopotamus amphibius

Hippos are some of the most aggressive and territorial animals in

Africa

.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Female hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) of the family Hippopotamidae are sexually mature at 6-15 years of age. Throughout their long lifespan of up to 50 years, they can give birth to 2-5 calves

A hippo calf can be born weighing anywhere from 50-100 pounds. Their mother will nurse them for the first several months of a calf’s life. They are weak and in need of their mother’s protection. As we can see from the video above, if it were not for his mother’s protection, even against his own family, he would not have survived. 


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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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