Thursday, 21 June 2012

Dangerous Hippos; The kings of the African Rivers


"Kiboko" the Dangerous Hippos of African

The hippo’s yawn isn't a sign of sleepiness , laziness,
hunger or  boredom but is actually a threat gesture,
displaying long, thick, razor-sharp canine teeth
What are these beautiful giant animals in many of the lakes and rivers called? Where do these hippopotamus live? Many times people wonder why such a big animals like the Hippopotamus to be as lazy as any other animal in the great lakes and rivers of Africa. Is being lazy part of the survival tactics for the hippo? As far as the animal facts about hippopotamus are concerned, the hippopotamuses or the "river horse” are the third-largest living land animals.  Why the hippopotamus was called a river horse by the Greeks? Was it a hippopotamus fact that there were as many hippopotamus in Greece as compared to any part of the world or the hippopotamus population and range had reached far beyond the ancient Greek reign and hence the given name the “River Horse”? As far as the local or native name for the African hippo is concerned, “Kiboko” is the Swahili name for the hippopotamus where these beautiful animals call home. 


hippopotamus can eat 100 to
150 pounds of grass in a night
With the current hippopotamus population decreasing day in and day out in may of the hippopotamus feeding and breeding grounds, the status of the African hippopotamus is declared as endangered.  
The hippopotamus is so big such that it’s the African biggest herbivorous after the African elephants and the white rhinos which make up part of the Africa’s Big Five animals. 


An adult hippopotamus can stay
submerged for 5 to 6 minutes
The hippopotamus being a herbivore mammal, this great animal of Africa has not only the longest teeth in the world but the only animal in the world which cannot jump.  Its amazing to note that many people don’t have a chance to see these beautiful dangerous African safari hippopotamus as part of their natural habitat and may of the beautiful African animals which live in the African Savannah grasslands are always far out in the wilderness and in the African scotching sun while these are always the beautiful hours for the African hippopotamus to dive deep in the cool waters of the Nile infested rivers to cool itself off while at the same time protecting the hippopotamus territory away from dangerous male hippopotamus and any other animal which might come between the hippo and its baby.


A baby hippo can eat grass in 3
weeks, but nurses for a year
Hippos typically live for around
45 years while in their habitat
 Don’t be surprised when you go for any African animal safari and you don’t have the chance or a glimpse to see or take any photo of the African Hippopotamus unless your animal safari is geared up to their natural habitat and you will have the chance to see the hippo live in action. 

Male hippos will attack young
hippos in the water, but not
 on land
A group of hippos in known as
a ‘herd’, ‘pod’, ‘dale’ or ‘bloat
How many hippopotamus are there in the wild and in captivity? Hats the biggest question someone would ask about hippopotamus. With many of the African navigable rivers not being accesses due to these beautiful animals controlling their water boundaries very little stats about hippopotamus are not forthcoming as far as the information on the different hippopotamus website is concerned hence the hippopotamus tends to have an average life span in the wild of up to 40 years and weighing about 4000kgs. 


Just like any other endangered or near endangered animals of African and the African Savannah as a whole, these beautiful dangerous hippopotamus population is decreasing as the number of hippopotamus attacks also keep on decreasing as many of the hippopotamus in Africa are located in the farming regions and many of the African lakes and rivers where the local people come to some of the great lakes and rivers to collect water for drinking and washing, irrigate their land and while swimming. 


While many of the people using the rivers and lakes of many if the Nile Rivers infested hippopotamus become victim of circumstances while traveling in these treacherous infested hippopotamus and crocodile waters

Hippopotamus natural habitat
There are no animals that are as much territorial both on land and in the water other than the hippopotamus. The Nile crocodiles are known to be territorial while keeping the young crocodiles at bay. On the other hand it’s amazing to know that hippopotamus are animal which will fight to kill whether animal or beast which comes in its way whether during the hippopotamus breeding season or when someone is standing between the mother hippo and the baby hippopotamus.

The hippo’s skin exudes a red, oily liquid that keeps
the skin moist 
a myth that the hippo sweats blood 
Most of the  hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, Kiboko from the ancient Greek for "river horse" are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa in courtiers such as, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Gabon, , Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, , Rwanda while the Pygmy Hippopotamus is mostly found in the west coast of Africa mostly Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau. Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Réunion, where most of the animal or hippo attacks take place. With the hippopotamus being a unique animal, the range of these animals has been extended to may of the world’s zoos which now have hippopotamus which have been bred and reared in captivity. The amazing this is that all hippopotamus will graze in the same are and look for food miles away and way back to their resting ground.

It’s not that hippopotamus like to be in the African geographical range but it’s the vegetation and the ecosystem of the hippopotamus. How have hippopotamus survived in the African continent and in the wild despite all incidences of hippopotamus hunting and killing for their meat to feed the hungry locals who live within the hippo’s natural habitat?  These great animals of Land Rivers and lakes have always been able to find their way out and to co exist with the other natural inhabitants of the African Savannah.

Nearly all of the famous African explorers &
hunters 
had boating mishaps with hippopotamus 
& considered it to be a wantonly malicious beast 
With plenty of fertile soils and food for the plants, the natural vegetation found in the African lakes and on river beds in Africa where these beautiful dangerous water and land hippopotamus are found and bred can be a killing zone as these majestic dangerous hippos with their aggressiveness can come out when people or other dangerous animals veer into the hippo’s territory. With many people surprising the hippopotamus while it is out foraging for food when the sun has gone down, many people encounter these aggressive beautiful hippopotamus and find themselves victims in places where the Hippos are foraging during their nocturnal rounds in any given locality.

Dangerous Hippopotamus; The kings of the African Rivers
Hippos can be very aggressive,
especially if they feel
threatened
“Kiboko” or the four webbed toes dangerous hippopotamus loves the water such that the hippopotamus with all the hippo’s family and pride will spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes under the company of other dangerous animals such as the African Nile crocodiles which share the same natural habitat and most of the geographical location in Africa. If the hippos are not in the water, they are always not very far from many of the river banks as they graze from the sprouting fresh green grass which is constantly fertilized by the hippopotamus dung when they come ashore. 


1 baby  hippo is born underwater
at a time, after a gestation of
around 230 days mostly during
the months of heavy rainfall
This is one of the greatest moments when serious hippopotamus battles are fought while on land and sometimes end up in the rivers of lakes and the powerful hippopotamus emerges to take the female hippopotamus as his family for the next generation.  Hippopotamus as very dangerous animals are very good swimmers.  A lot of the hippo dangerous attacks take place in the rivers and lakes when people are not suspecting the presence of hippos in the water while travelling in small boats or just in the water or in some of the bushes on their way home.

Being very good swimmers, hippos can hold their breath underwater for about 5 minutes. These beautiful dangerous animals attack or capsize many boats and canoes when they stand or walk on the floor of many lakes or rivers. While it is not always to spot a hippopotamus when it is underwater some of these animal attack incidences are just inevitable bit communication and information about hippopotamus location and breeding habitat can help alleviate dangerous attacks being caused by these beautiful African safari animals.

A common hippo’s hide alone
can weigh half a ton
With death role of around 200, they have been known to kill other animals and many people mostly farmers and nomads on dry land who move from one place to another in search of greener pastures and water thereby falling pray to this huge dangerous wild animal which is one of the biggest land animals. The hippopotamus being one of the most aggressive creatures in the world and is often regarded as top ten world’s most dangerous in the world and one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos throughout Sub-Saharan Africa; Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000–30,000) possess the largest populations.  With constant civil and political unrest in many of the African countries which have the highest population of hippopotamus the Big Five and some of the Big Cats, the hippopotamus are still threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth

Hippos the great animal attack runners
A hippo’s tail is up to 22 inches long
The African hippopotamus while on its daily rounds foraging for food at night, these beautiful dangerous hippopotamus with their sheer size and weight travel 6 miles (10 kilometers) in a night, along single-file pathways and fill their stomachs by consuming some 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of grass.  While some animals are grazers  and some are browsers  always be on the look out for these animals  as  running for your life is the only option or scaling up a tree might just do the trick otherwise you will end up being attacked by the hippopotamus despite the fact that hippos can match a human's speed for short distances

As a hippo rule of thumb one should always know that when a hippopotamus is threatened on land these beautiful dangerous animals will always run for the water and take cover. While you are out there taking good animal photographs make sure you are always on the look out for any unsuspecting animals otherwise you might be surprised to see a hippo being on the lookout for you. These hippopotamus natural born killer animals though they are herbivorous, have been known to attack and even eat them with reasons best known to them as for them a human being is just like another intruder in their natural habitat

The hippopotamus teeth are 
ivory  are valued  more
  than an elephant’s  ivory
As far as survival for the fittest and the hippopotamus is concerned and tor the future of  the African hippopotamus species is concerned, the male hippopotamus always pose a threat to the baby hippo or new born baby hippopotamus. The female hippopotamus with its giant size mouth and teeth will always attack the male hippos that wander or swim too close to the baby hippo. The clash of the hippos will only end if the male hippo surrenders by lying down and acts submissively to show that he means no harm to the dominant African hippo family.

Hippo’s ears and nostrils are located at the
top of the head and close automatically
when the hippo is under water
As far as zoo animals and hippopotamus are concerned in Colombia: The African hippos of Pablo Escobar In 1983 at the height of his fame,  This loving animal person  had flown more than 2,000 animals: elephants from India, buffalo imported from U.S., Australian kangaroos, flamingos, antelope, deer, rhino, giraffe and nine hippo imported from African countries. Whether keeping animals in captivity is the best for animals or just elongates the animals with a few years does not really give the chance for the animals to live their full happy years.

In 2006, the hippopotamus nicknamed "Pepe" believing Africa was tired of being confined to the hacienda. It wanted to explore new territories. It reached the shores of Cocorna, a tributary of the Magdalena River. In its march towards freedom, it made major damage along the way. It damaged fences, dévira plants and seedlings, even killed the calves, creating panic among Colombian peasants. These are just some of the living hippo ensamples whether these hippopotamus are in their natural habitat in African or just in other parts of the world.

Hippopotamus and crocodiles live in the same rivers but
a hippopotamus will always chase or attack any crocs
Are the hippopotamus going to be extinct, is a lot of effort to conserve the hippopotamus being made? Are the locals being involved in the protection and conservation of the hippopotamus population? A lot is still at stake as the plight of the hippopotamus is still yet to be of great importance just like any endangered panda, elephant or Siberian tiger. While these beautiful hippopotamus once thrived   and were greatly feared when they roamed the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, there is still a lot to be done in terms of what the hippopotamus is in terms of both the usefulness of a hippopotamus and the negative aspects of a hippopotamus. While the economic importance of a hippopotamus brings in local tourism and trade in may of the hippopotamus body parts, the constant clash between the farmer’s crops and the hippopotamus is seen as one of the stumbling block of this animal which lives within proximity of human habitat. 

A baby hippo is called a ‘calf’
A male hippopotamus is called
a ‘bull’
With the decline of plenty of fresh water for the African hippopotamus for wallowing, cooling off and plenty of lash grass for grazing not many hippopotamus are remaining in many parts of Africa as they used to be decades ago. With little data or hippopotamus information in many countries where hippopotamus are found coming forth, many of the hippopotamus attacks are also not recorded. Unless the endless hunting  and parching of these African hippopotamus ends as a result of the hippopotamus eating the cash crops  and subsistence crops of the farmers’ or villagers as the only farmers source of income for his subsistence crops. While many people find a cheep source of protein from the hippopotamus, the hippo’s meat and teeth its natural and breeding  habitat has dwindled only to remain in protected and sometimes unprotected areas which makes the hippo to be very vulnerable.

Resting in water helps keep
hippo's temperature down
A female hippopotamus is
called a ‘cow’
With proper animal communication information and education from documentaries beautiful animal photographs and great inspirational animal movies and research, the plight of the African hippopotamus can stand secure and many animal and dangerous hippo attacks can be reduces and as a spill over effect while saving Nile hippopotamus habitat, we protect these dangerous hippopotamus and many other animals of Africa which share the same habitat as we are part of them.

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