27 Nov 2015 ‘Cheeky’ hippo calf, by Ranger Chané Jacobs
This large buffalo bull, otherwise known as a ‘dagga boy’, approached the river to quench his thirst following the soaring temperatures typical of the lowveld on a hot summer’s day.
As he neared the water’s edge, a resident pod of hippos made their presence known by continuously grunting and groaning. Unperturbed, the buffalo found a spot and sat himself down, as he casually continued to chew his cud.
A courageous hippo calf kept moving closer and closer, until he finally walked out of the water and straight up to the buffalo. He gave him a few sniffs, but the buffalo remained unmoved. The young hippo widely opened his mouth, as a way of proving his dominance, but ended up displaying nothing but toothless gums. Meanwhile, the composed buffalo swooshed his tail to swat away persistent flies. It was at this moment that the little hippo splashed into the water as he raced to safety towards his mom. The ‘cheeky’ little chap was obviously scared to death by the unexpected reaction. We doubt he will ever be this nervy with any bovine or other Kapama Game Reserve wildlife again.