Hippo throws impala over its head in river after battling hyenas

Hippo throws impala over its head in river after battling hyenas

May 27, 2020

Horrifying moment a hippo throws an impala over its head in a South African river after battling circling hyenas and wild dogs

  • The rare riverside battle of four species was filmed in Kruger National Park
  • A hippo fought off African Wild Dog and hyenas to attack the swimming impala 
  • Photographer Rogan Kerr and field guide Francois Pienaar took videos of it

A hippo fought off packs of hyenas and wild dogs before throwing a swimming impala over its head in South Africa.

Shocking footage shows the hippopotamus battle dozens of the predators, which had disturbed its river habitat in Kruger National Park.

The video, which was published yesterday, shows the hippo demonstrate its power as onlookers watch on in horror.  

Photographer Rogan Kerr and field guide Francois Pienaar shot videos of the rare interaction between hippo, hyenas, African Wild Dog and impala.

A hippo throws an impala over its head after fighting off packs of African Wild Dog and hyena in Kruger National Park, South Africa

The hippo kills the swimming impala as a pack of more than a dozen African Wild Dog circle round it in the river

A lone impala swims around in the water desperate to find an escape route while the hippo lurks further behind.

Wild dogs wait by the water’s edge before the hippo comes out the water to ward them off the impala, which had been chased there by the dogs.

A different pack of dogs enter the water as the hippo battles more dogs and hyenas on a dirt path, where there had been a separate kill.

Finally, the hippo returns to the water and attacks the impala, which had been dragged underwater by a wild dog, and throws it dramatically over its head. 

The hippo chases African Wild Dog out of the water after they chased the impala into a river

Earlier on, the hippo fights off hyena and African Wild Dog who had been attracted to the weakened impala on a dirt path

Rogan Kerr, a Photographer at Africa on Foot, said: ‘We had heard over the radio that there were dogs on the tar road so we bee-lined straight there. 

‘When we saw the little impala in the water, there was a buzz of excitement at the prospect of seeing a successful chase go down, but my heart did break watching it desperately looking for an exit strategy. 

‘It’s a hard reminder of the cruel nature of the wild.  

‘Out of nowhere, a huge hippo lunged himself out of the still waters, with jaws clamping down onto the poor impala, taking it out instantly.’

The African Wild Dog circle around at the water’s edge as the hippo chases the impala swimming away

Francois Pienaar, a field guide in Kruger, told Kruger Sightings the African Wild Dogs attempted to recover the impala afterwards but were unable to do so.

He said: ‘The Hippo flung the impala into the air, leaving everyone on the vehicle in shock. 

‘An incredibly special and rare sighting. Certainly, you do not see hippo, hyenas, African Wild Dog and impala interaction every day.’

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