Hippos are one of the most dangerous and aggressive animals in Africa, if not the world.
The closest relative to the hippo is the peccary, but there is also evidence that they are related to whales.
Whichever the case, it’s important to note that they’ve evolved into existence long before any other mammal did.
Note, however, that their closest living relatives do not share their aggressive behavior (in fact quite the opposite).
The environment will shape the behavior of animals, not just their instincts.
Territoriality and protection of young/resources contribute to the aggression in non-human animals.
Hippos are very territorial, especially males when it comes to protecting their harem of females
Males can have up to 50, and the dominant male may keep 30-40 in his harem.
However, when it comes to territoriality, hippos are not simply aggressive towards other species. They will fight with each other over territory within their species.
Contributors to Aggressive Hippos
Their aggressive behavior in protecting young or resources can be prevalent, but aggression towards other hippos is more common.
Aggression in the hippopotamus is interesting because it allows the necessary display of violence that would otherwise not exist.
Consider that these animals weigh up to four tons each, and they are the only living representatives of their genus (meaning they are one of a kind).
In fact, hippos don’t really have any natural predators.
Hippos stay unthreatened by crocodiles or wild dogs, and even lions tend to stay away from them because they aren’t worth fighting over food with.
They are aggressive at all hours of the day, and they will charge anything that gets in their way.
Misleading Aggression of Hippos
Although hippos have a knack for looking cute and cuddly, do not be fooled by their exterior because they can be very dangerous.
In fact, many people who have been killed by hippos were only getting a harmless closer look at them.
It’s important to note that many of the people killed by hippos were not even trying to get close to them.
They simply got too close without realizing it because hippos blend in with water and grass very well.
Although these animals appear to look like peaceful giants, it’s important to remember that they are still wild animals even if they do not have any natural predators.
They can also be extremely dangerous, so please keep your distance if you encounter them in the wild.
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