Ungainly as it is, the hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth. And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.

Hippos do attack humans. When it comes to these large river horses , there are about 500 deaths per year in Africa. The number is shockingly large and outpaces nearly any other animal on earth. In fact, hippos are known as some of the deadliest land animals in the world, with the mosquito being the overall winner for a long time now (currently, it’s 725,000 per year).

Generally, it’s best to avoid hippos totally. If a hippo does happen to attack, the odds of living through it depend on whether you can get away or not. Sadly, if a hippo is able to grab you, the odds of escaping alive are slim.

Hippos really only attack people that have entered into what they consider their territory. On land, hippos aren’t generally territorial, but getting close is still a bad idea. Despite their stocky legs, an angry hippo can easily outpace a human, averaging 20 mph in short bursts, whereas a human can typically only run 6-8 mph.

When you enter a hippo’s territory in the water, however, things can turn nasty fast. They typically keep to sections of rivers that are around 55-110 yards of shore (that number triples when it comes to lakeshore). They will relax and patrol their territory, readily displacing trespassers.

The most common hippo attacks come from the water with humans on boats. Since hippos are submerged, it can be incredibly hard to see them from the surface. If a human floats by while fishing, it’s easy to miss the massive animal at rest. Suddenly, the hippo will launch itself at the boat, usually capsizing it. Once a human is in the water, there is little they can do to stop the attack.

Besides humans, hippos are known to attack lions, hyenas, and crocodiles. Lions and hyenas generally avoid hippos with how easy it would be for a full-grown adult to kill a pack of either of them. Still, there are occasional instances where desperate lions and hyenas will find an isolated hippo and try to kill it. It doesn’t usually result in much, but a hippo usually doesn’t have a problem defending itself.

The most common interaction that hippos have is with the crocodile. Since they share territory, conflict is more common. Generally, there isn’t much friction between the two species. Still, there are occasional instances of violence. If a female hippo has a calf, any encroaching crocodiles are likely to be chased away. If they don’t learn their lesson, it isn’t uncommon for a hippo to outright kill an annoying croc.

Credit : A-Z Animals

Picture Credit : Google 

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