Saturday, 18 May 2019

Hippo Behaviour

Nature is volatile and unpredictable. It never does what you need or expect. But occasionally, when the gods are in your favour and the stars positioned just so; animals do what you want.

I had been travelling along a tributary of the Zambezi watching hippos and trying to get a single shot that described their behaviour. These imposing animals are part of a complex ecosystem. They contribute tonnes of fertiliser to the river systems in the form of dung. Birds follow them as they trundle along river banks stirring up insects.

Adult Hippos in their prime have few natural predators. Young animals are sometimes prey for crocodiles while the old and weak are fodder for a myriad of hunters and their remains an appetising meal for crocodiles and a host of carrion eaters from vultures to hyenas.

Eventually I managed to make a pair of images that described aspects of their social behaviour as well as capturing their natural environment. Hopefully these aspects of hippo life are obvious from the pictures.


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