By return guest Phil Branham.

A friend of mine from The Netherlands told me that he liked the Zambia animal articles I have been inserting in my company’s newsletter and did I have any hippos, well the answer is yes and this is a hippo story!

In July of 2012, Patrick and I were on the bank of the South Luangwa River watching hippos when two of the males started fighting in the water. They went at it pretty hard until the larger male jabbed the other one under the jaw with his two large teeth that face forward.

Watermarked-2-10They then separated and went to the sand bank away from us. Patrick and I went down and into the great hippo hide that Shenton Safaris has there because Patrick thought they might keep on fighting. We were only there a few minutes when they started fighting again and it was amazing. I took 35 shots of the land fight and pulled out a couple to show you. Watermarked-2-2

They charged each other with wide open jaws and went at each other. The hippo on the left was the main aggressor and left his feet three times during the fight.Watermarked-2-3Their jaws matched up fairly well and if you did not know better, it looked like they were kissing

The energy from their fight is incredible since they are fighting for mating rights and a spot on the river.

The tusks are long enough to puncture organs if they attack from the side. The photos below give you a little idea of the ferocity of their attacks.Watermarked-2-4

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They separated for the third time and after a couple of minutes they started back for each other again. Only this time it was not to be. A small female that had been lying next to the fighting males jumped up and struck the aggressor in the neck under his jaw.

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When that happened the fight was over the male on the left that was attacked by the female turned around and left. We were speechless; I could not imagine that happening, another incredible moment! Look at the small baby hippo on the right side watching. After this happened the hippo on the right turned and stared at me almost like he knew I was there! Another incredible shot!

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This guy was the winner but it had to hurt! This is one of my favorite moments of all my trips! You don’t see this every day!

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If anyone else has a favorite animal they would like to see photos of, please write and let me know. If I have them, I will be happy to do it.

 

Note from Shenton Safaris: Phil has been one of our long term guests, visiting us at Kaingo and Mwamba every year for many years now. It is always a pleasure to have him in camp, and share his photographs.

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