Watch this baby hippo toy with a sleepy croc and get away with it

2015-10-09 12:05
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Like all small boys, George the hippo loves teasing his friend. There's just one thing: his friend is a crocodile.

An amusing video has emerged of 9-month-old George chomping and chewing at a crocodile's tail on the banks of the River Turgwe in south-eastern Zimbabwe's Save Valley Conservancy.

The chubby youngster can't keep away from the reptile who looks like he's trying to snooze.

The croc shifts in irritation as George dances triumphantly around him. He just can't leave him alone until finally his mum Tacha appears to call him away.

What George is doing, says Karen Paolillo who took the footage, isn't really teasing and it's not as dangerous as it looks.

Paolillo, who founded the Turgwe Hippo Trust, says hippo calves often "groom crocs".

"[They] play with them like this by chewing their tails. It is a frequent behaviour," Paolillo told News24 in an interview.

"When they groom them they always lick their tails and chew the top of the tail area."

"It is not dangerous," she says, adding that in her experience, "the crocs never go for the hippos."

So happy together

She has lived with hippos in the conservancy for 25 years.

However, George's mum did go for a crocodile that was eating her afterbirth when George's sister Bonbon was born.

That was when Bonbon "went right up to the croc", says Paolillo, who has written a book about her love affair with the Turgwe hippos.

Tacha grabbed the croc in her mouth "and threw him in the air into the water. She was at the edge of the pool in very shallow water."

"The croc sailed through the air back into the water and continued eating the afterbirth as if nothing had happened," she said.

"Obviously mum hippos will protect their babies against any predator but in general [crocs and hippos] live harmoniously together," she says.

"Crocs often get on the backs of semi submerged hippos probably by accident and the hippo lunges up in the water and chucks it off. I have watched this a lot but there is no malice."

George was born in December last year and is his long-suffering mother's third calf.

See the video of George and the croc below:

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.