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Thursday, April 18, 2024

7 Reasons Why Hippopotamus is the Deadliest Animal of All in Africa

Hippopotamus has long been considered the most dangerous animal on earth and the deadliest land animal in Africa. It could use its teeth and claws to slash humans just like it can slice through paper.

The hippopotamus is a semi-aquatic animal inhabiting water and land in swamp areas. They are deadlier in the water but consistently aggressive, whether in water or out of it.

Hippos cause many attacks, injuries, and death on the continent, making it the deadliest among all animals in Africa.

This article will show why the hippopotamus is the deadliest animal among others in Africa. Read on to discover.

1. Its aggressive nature

The hippopotamus is very aggressive, making them the most dangerous, most feared, and the deadliest of all the animals existing in the African continent.

The aggressive nature of hippos arises from the readiness in defense for their territory, both on land and in water, although they’re more violent when they are in the water.

In water, hippos attack boats and cause instant capsizing because they hate anything that gets between them and the water.

Therefore, they don’t tolerate the activities of humans in water because it makes them more aggressive, leading to them causing more injuries or deaths.

On the other hand, the female hippos are mainly defensive and aggressive, especially when an intruder approaches their young ones.

2. Biggest killer of humans

Of all the herbivores and other large animals in Africa, hippos are the only territorial animals that can kill the estimated number of 3,000 people per year in Africa.

Hippopotamuses are the deadliest mammals on earth and almost twice more deadly in Africa than lions.

They rarely bother other animals but can instantly crush anything that tries to endanger their territory with their teeth.

The male hippos can instantly kill when they sense any danger encroaching their territory, including the lakes and banks of the rivers.

Then again, the female counterparts can aggressively attack and kill anyone close to their babies.

3. Hippos exhibit territorial behavior 

Hippos are territorial animals sensitive to their environment, fighting more actively for extreme defense if an intruder stakes out a space of their own.

Due to this territorial behavior, they can attack anyone they sight close to water, from four-legged or two-legged intruders, to defend their territories.

In particular, the male hippopotamus can aggressively attack any human unwittingly sitting or standing on a lakeshore or riverbank because they consider the spot part of their habitat.

4. With 2,750 kg of weight, hippos can crush a human to death

Hippos weigh anywhere from 3 to 6 tons. The heaviest hippo weighed 12,000 pounds (564 kilograms) around 20 million years ago. However, the average weight of an African hippo is 2,750 kg, particularly the male counterparts.

With the estimated weight, this world’s deadliest and largest land mammal can crush human beings to death while tearing their legs and arms apart with their very sharp teeth.

Adult female hippos can weigh between 1,400 and 5,000 lbs when they grow fully. 

Generally, the torso of the hippopotamus is comparable with the human skull, added to other large body parts.

Although their weight isn’t the primary thing that makes them deadly and dangerous, it contributes greatly

5. Massively sharp ivory canine teeth

The massive canine teeth of the male hippopotamus are long, sharp, and capable of inflicting significant injury, trauma, and death to humans, especially when they sense danger within their territory.

Hippos have giant incisors and canines – the canines reach up to 50 centimeters (1 ft 8 in), while incisors measure up to 40 centimeters, equivalent to 1 ft 4 inches.

The dangerous animal doesn’t use their giant canines and incisors for feeding; instead, they use them primarily for defense and combat.

6. Exhibit giant tusks similar to huge, sharp daggers

Hippos are deadly due to their highly aggressive and unpredictable nature. 

And when habitat loss seems threatening, they defend with their giant tusks that look more like huge, sharp daggers.

Saying that the immense force from hippo’s tusks and force behind the jaws are terrifying weapons is not an exaggeration.

7. They can attack anyone underwater

Hippos can attack, kill or injure anyone near the water or even on encounters along the waterways of Africa.

Many water sport enthusiasts have witnessed the attack of hippo, either when on the fishing boat, canoe, or underwater.

Hippos spend most of the day’s hours at the lake or the bottom of a channel feeding on vegetation and can sink or hide completely underwater what a boat appears.

However, the intruders trigger their territorial instincts; they become more aggressive, thus chasing such intruders for attacks to defend their territory.

How to dodge hippo’s attack on water

Do not swim when it tips you into the water to steer clear of a hippo’s attack while in water. Swimming will cause a water splash which will help it detect you easily and kill you.

If a hippo approaches you underwater, you should move to the nearest bank and get out quickly.

How to escape hippopotamus attack on land

One should avoid inciting an attack of a hippopotamus, whether on land or in water. If hippotamus eventually comes after you, find an obstacle to help slow its movement while absconding down the slopes or up the hills.

Scientific classification of hippopotamus

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Phylum: Chordata

Species: H. amphibius

Genus: Hippopotamus

Family: Hippopotamidae

Kingdom: Animalia under Mesozoic herbivores

Binomial name

Hippopotamus amphibius

Facts about the hippopotamus

  • Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, spending most of their days in lakes and rivers, but cannot swim.
  • They’re the 2nd largest land mammal on earth and Africa, with an enormous head, short legs, and a sizeable barrel-shaped body.
  • Their skin is susceptible.
  • You can find them throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and they stay cool during the blistering Africa heat.
  • They cannot breathe underwater.
  • Hippos are territorial, not only in water.
  • They stay active in the wild at night, searching for food.
  • They are herbivores, feeding primarily on grasses but are not big eaters.

Why are hippos the deadliest animal in Africa?

Hippos are the deadliest animal in Africa because they kill approximately 3,000 people per year. Also, refer to the points enumerated in this article post to see why hippos are the deadliest animals in Africa.

Why are hippos most dangerous?

Hippos are most dangerous because of their highly aggressive and volatile nature, readiness to attack humans dangerously while defending their territory.

Which animal causes most deaths in Africa?

Hippos cause the most deaths in Africa per year, although mosquitoes which are insects belonging to the ‘Animalia kingdom,’ cause more deaths than the hippos do.

Why do hippos kill?

Hippos kill just because of their aggressive nature, which makes them always angry especially when an intruder approaches their teritory.

Bottom Line

The hippopotamus is a dangerous land mammal that is quite deadly. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to bother a wild hippo while on vacation or hop into the hippo pen at a zoo for any reason.

Also, mind how you walk in the dark at night in most parts of Africa because the hippos can move very far away from water while roaming widely, searching for food. You can commonly witness this around the South African National Parks on a night safari.

If you encounter the hippos along any waterway in Africa, you can avoid their attack using the idea of ‘how to dodge hippo’s attack.’

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