WATCH: Hippo smashes bakkie outside Kruger Park

2016-11-30 11:27


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Mbombela - A man driving outside the Kruger National Park had a terrifying experience early on the morning of Friday, 26 November, after a fully grown hippo smashed into his car and gouged its teeth into it.   

Wikus Ceronie, 26, a technician from Middelburg, was on his way back from working in Mozambique when he noticed a hippo on the bridge he was driving across. 

"There were people walking around in the nearby vicinity so I automatically assumed this hippo was used to humans. I was quite fascinated by this so I took out my phone to start filming.

"Suddenly the hippo turned and just started charging...I braced myself as I realised he wasn't going to stop," said Ceronie. 

The hippo smashed into the bakkie head on with massive force, with Ceronie capturing the entire incident on video. 

"I guess after that he decided he had won because he just turned around and left. This was terrifying for me because I realised I had nowhere to go and no time to do it in. Beside me was a 50m drop so had he hit me on the side I have no doubt the car would have rolled down the embankment," said a shaken Ceronie. 

This is the second recent incident of a hippo attacking a car in the area. On November 3, tourists in the Kruger National Park captured footage of a hippo biting a Land Rover while being chased by a large pride of lions.

The canine teeth of hippos can grow up to 0.5m long, and the animals are renowned as the most dangerous big game species in Africa.

Wildlife expert Lex Hes said hippos are unpredictable animals, especially when out of the water. 

"They are definitely completely unpredictable. Their place of safety is the water, so they can be dangerous when out of this safe zone. The hippo on the bridge most likely felt cornered and therefore attacked.

"I don't believe that the driver was in the wrong, he probably just didn't have the appropriate knowledge of animal behaviour to back off the moment he saw the animal," said Hes.

Read more on:    kruger national park  |  mpumalanga  |  animals

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