Scientific name:

Hippopotamus amphibius

 

What makes it special:

The “hippo” is often referred to as Dangerous Game together with the Big Five and the crocodile. It’s the third largest mammal. Unlike most mammals, it dwells both in water and on land. A close observation of its feet reveals that it has toes rather than hooves that most animals on land posses.

 

Recommended caliber:

.375 H&H is the absolute minimum and 40 calibers or above isn't a bad choice.

Hippo hunting - Big game hunting

Accounting for more human deaths in Africa than any of the Big Five members, this is truly a dangerous animal. Make no mistake although it might look like a large pig; this is not an animal you want running against you if you’re not ready to place a killing shot.  Bringing down the third largest and most dangerous animal mammal can prove quite tricky. Their ability to dwell in water and run as fast 30km/hour on land on their short, large feet has surprised many an unprepared hunter. Angry hippos can be disastrous as they attack by knocking and stumbling over their enemy. The large body, thick neck and short tail is fascinating, but be prepared to fire several large caliber shots at all ties. They can attack humans without ant provocation, both in boats and on land.

Hunting Method

Hippos are best hunted while in water. A disturbed bull (male) can get very aggressive. Hunting should be done with a lot of caution and with pinpoint accuracy. It is hard to differentiate the cows (female) from the bulls. The bulls have a slightly bigger head and have protrusions above the nose. Side shots should be placed just below the ears to penetrate the brain. A shot from the front should be aimed at the forehead where it forms a v shaped depression. Hunts can also be done on land but, but remember they are fast on land (in water they “only” run as fast as a human walks), so be prepared for aggressive attacks where fleeing isn’t a possibility.

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Know the animal

  

  

Appearance

Dark red skin with little hair. Their skin produces a clear substance that changes to red making it appear as blood. They are knows for producing loud sounds both in water and on land as their way of communication.

 

Habitat

Mainly found in the major rivers of the east Africa, central Africa and West Africa. They also dwell in fresh water lakes, banks and marshes, mostly found in the east Africa. In all the area they inhabit, there is plenty of vegetation to sustain their large consumption.

 

Diet

10 to 12 hours of the night is spent eating and they can walk a considerable distance from the water in to the land to feed. About 88 pounds of food is eaten per night, about 70% of this being grass and the other 30% a wide variety of vegetation such as leaves, tubers and wild fruit.

 

Predators

No one dares to hunt an adult hippo, except humans. The major courageous predators look for young ones that are not attended to. Despite that they are not an easy catch because their mothers can scare off any wild predator.

 

Life cycle

Female attain reproduction age at about six years while the male mature at seven and a half years. The gestation period between eight and nine months. They are seasonal in their reproduction and majority of the female conceive at the end of the wet season and give birth at the beginning of the wet season. This is to ensure they have food security. Mating and delivery usually occurs in water. Hippos are born weighing around 50 kilograms and are 127 centimeters long. They know swimming immediately and take their first breath on their own.

 

Behavior

They are aggressive and not very social animals. They stay in pods of up to a hundred, but research indicates that they don’t form any significant bonding. They emerge to go and graze at night individually. The female stays with the young ones and one or two males with mating rights. The other males spend their time in a bachelors pod. They are very aggressive to other animals including the crocodile and attack without any provocation.

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Animal Facts

 

Weight and size

Weight: Up to 2.7 tons.

Shoulder height: 1.5 m (5 feet)

 

Habitat

They are found in major rivers, fresh water lakes shore and mashes in east, central and West Africa.

 

Diet

Large quantities of food is eaten every day, the largest part of this being grass and the other vegetation, tubers and wild fruit.

 

Predators

A grownup doesn’t have any real predators. Unattended young ones, however, can be taken by crocodiles and lions

 

Life cycle

40-50 years.

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