Not such a gentle giant


“I think the most common misconception about hippos is that people consider them to be pure herbivores,” says Leejiah Dorward, a PhD student at the University of Oxford who studies human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania.

Over the years in various parts of their range, 87 hippos have been observed eating impala, kudu, eland, wildebeest and buffalo. “There is a growing body of evidence that they not only eat meat but will actively predate other animals,” says Dorward.

Hippos also appear to have no qualms about occasionally eating each other. While working in Kruger National Park in South Africa, Dorward saw a hippo feeding on the decayed carcass of another hippo.


photo: Micha Klootwijk/Alamy Stock Photo


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