Terrifying Moment Hippo Charges at Two Wildlife Photographers

Two wildlife photographers on safari in Africa last month had a terrifying encounter when they were charged at by an enormous hippo.

Bill and Linda Klipp came across a lone hippopotamus in a small watering hole while in Botswana’s Okavango Delta which did not take kindly to their presence.

“It’s not unusual for elephants and hippos to make false or mock charges, demonstrating who is the boss or to protect their territory,” says Bil and Linda.

“While we were expecting a short mock charge this was not the case, he came rapidly at us through the water and within seconds was out of the water rushing towards our car.”

Hippo attack photographers
The hippo charges at the photographers’ vehicle with its mouth wide open.

In the above video, the guide revs the engine and attempts to reverse but the hippopotamus is too fast as it opens its mouth wide open and sinks its teeth into the side of the vehicle, preventing the car from moving.

“Hippos can open their mouth 150 degrees stretching up to four feet and as he bit down on the front passenger side door multiple times his upper canines started to splinter the wooden frame on the door, while his lower incisors and canines ripped a gash in the door,” explains Bill and Linda.

“The impact bent and dented the door, fender, windscreen frame, and mirror making the door and windscreen inoperable.”

Hippo attacks car
The belligerent hippo just as it is about to sink its teeth into the car.

The guide keeps revving the engine and after the hippo’s third bite on the door, he finally lets go and retreats.

“Luckily, only the vehicle was injured and remained operable for our escape,” adds Bill and Linda.

Bill captured 49 incredible frames of the hippopotamus charging the vehicle with Linda capturing video of the scary moment on an iPhone.

“Upon review of the images, it appears the hippo might have been blind in one eye and maybe thought we were another hippo trying to attack him, as he might have experienced in the past,” the pair says.

“You always hear about how powerful a hippo can be, but one doesn’t have a clue until a 7,000 to 10,000 pound animal crashes into and attacks your car.”

Hippo bites car
Scary moment.

Nature photography can be full of perils, last month PetaPixel shared an incredible clip showing a 300-pound-plus silverback gorilla beating its chest inches from a photographer.

More of Bill and Linda’s work can be found on their website and Facebook group.

Image credits: Photographs by Bill and Linda Klipp.