When I see pictures of the hippopotamus, it is usually the 2 iconic
images: just the nose, eyes and maybe ears sticking out of the eater or just a
little of the body above the waterline and with Oxpeckers on its back. I was
recently going cleaning and organizing my photo library and took a new look at
the images from our Africa trip 3 years ago. In it, was a good collection of
hippos in the routine activities of their daily life. So, I thought I’d share
them with you.
Some of the images involve a battle over a water hole. Watching that
battle unfold was one of the most fascinating events I ever witnessed. I’ve
observed that when deer, antelope, sheep and goats battle, it involves locking
horns and pushing back and forth until one succumbs and backs off. The hippo
battle was similar. They open their mouths wide and attack then push back and
forth until one succumbs. But, it also has some similarities to the sumo
wrestling I have seen. Two large, muscular, creatures embracing in battle for
short periods, back off for a short while, then go at again.
The Red-billed Oxpeckers in the photos are feasting on the bugs in the hippo’s wounds.
Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.