Hippos are by nature very aggressive animals. Fighting within the species is not at all uncommon, particularly when calves are present.
Also, since hippos are aquatic animals, humans encroach on hippo territory often, since humans often need to visit water. In fact, only crocodiles kill more people in Africa, for precisely the same reason. The main difference is that crocodiles often kill humans for food.
Hippopotamus are extremely territorial animals and a majority of attacks happen when a mother hippo feels as though her territory or calves are being threatened. Hippos charge anything or anyone they feel is threatening them and can run up to 20 miles per hour. Hippos are sometimes poached for their meat or their large teeth. Many attacks occur when hunters get a little too close to their target. The females typically attack when there is a threat to her calves and males attack when there is a threat to the females or the territory. A hippo pod is lead by a dominate male which can weigh up to 6,000 pounds with the average hippo weighing between 3,500 and 4,500 pounds. With weight like that, these animals have more than enough power to pull someone in the water where they can drown or have even been known to decapitate humans. Keep your eyes open next time you’re at the zoo…
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