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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Nov. 16, 2013: Hippopotamus, Chobe National Park, Botswana


Hippos are massive creatures usually seen bobbing in the water or heard making a deep laughing-type noise -- an eerie sound at night.  They graze on land but generally do so when it's dark.  It's rare to see a hippo walking about during the day and when you do it's usually because they're starving.

This photo was taken on the banks of the Chobe River.  We were going on a cruise of the river, enjoying the breeze and seeing hundreds of elephants come to the water for a drink and a dip, or even a mud-bath.  And then there they were.  About a dozen hippos foraging on the grass of an island.  It was near the end of the dry season and vegetation was very limited, hence the reason they emerged from the water during the day.  

Hippos are arguably the most dangerous animal in Africa killing more people each year than lions do (but not as many as mosquitoes and the pests they carry).  Bad tempered, you want to stay away from them.  Never get in the way of a moving hippo!


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  • Hippopotamus, Chobe National Park, Botswana: Common animals, though only rarely seen on land during the day.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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