Wild dogs disturb a hippo’s afternoon nap – a photo story in Sabi Sands

Posted on 10 October 2012

It just another day of wildlife watching in Sabi Sands and Andrew Howard and his family were watching a herd of wild dogs and their pups play. Suddenly they spot a herd of impala and all hell breaks loose as the dogs chase them all the way to a watering hole some 2km away.  A pod of hippos were enjoying a peaceful afternoon swim and they sure weren’t happy when the dogs chased one of the impala into the water with them.

But now the dogs needed to get to their dinner and they strategy was simple. They surrounded the dam to block off all possible exits in order to catch the impala as it comes out. But some of the dogs got a little too close to the already irritable hippos and a bull decides to charge. But the dogs are determined to get their hard earned prey.

After the long chase and excitement, one of the impala dies of exhaustion (this is about 40 minutes later) and it drifts to the water’s edge. The dogs think that they’ve succeeded and they wait for the pray to drift to the shore. But the grumpy hippo has had enough of these intruders and decides to spoil their fun, refusing to let them get to their dinner.

Still, the dogs aren’t giving up. In an attempt to move the hippo away from their prey, some of them go into the water and splash to create a diversion while two others attempt to get back their catch.

Just when it looked like the dogs had it in the back, another hippo shows up and takes a slam at one of the dogs that squeals in pain and makes a narrow escape. It’s clear that the hippos are done playing games and the dogs finally back off, leaving the impala in the hippos’ possession. To end off the tale, one of the hippos takes his frustration out on the carcass, thrashing it around and biting it aggressively.

And so, another normal day in the animal kingdom draws to a close. Congratulations of Andrew for capturing the excitement so that all of us can share in the drama of the bushveld.

The story in photos

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