Friday, January 15, 2010

Feared Creature

Is this the most feared creature in Africa? Or put differently: Should humans fear a leopard more than any other wild animal?

What about a crocodile? Is a Nile crocodile more dangerous than a leopard?

Then again, what about a lion? Isn't a hungry lioness on the prowl even more dangerous?

Answer: yes, all of the above are dangerous wild animals BUT ...

... statistically, more hippo (= hippopotamus) have killed humans in Africa than any other wild animal!

If yes, let's take a closer look at this "killer":

A characteristic feature of this formidable amphibian is its barrel-like body; it has a massive head with small ears and protruding eyes, as well as web-toed feet - although a hippo rather walks on a river's bed than swim. Hippos usually emerge from the river at dusk & then graze on land at night on well-beaten paths. That's where & when humans should steer well-clear of hippos because ...

... hippos have enormous canine and incisor teeth which can inflict terrible wounds and at worst, are known to have cut a person in half!

Conclusion: when hippos are in the water they aren't as dangerous than when on land - although opening their mouths wide certainly isn't "yawning" (= that's a myth). Instead it is a sure sign of aggression!

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