By Cameron Inggs

*CAUTION* This post may contain some upsetting or distressing content

The other day, while out on drive, my guests and I came across some tracks of African Wild Dog, also known as Lycaon Pictus. We started following and soon guessed where they were heading. We arrived at a large dam and as predicted, there they were. They had just chased an Impala into the water and were trying to predict where on the banks to try to grab it when it had to eventually climb out. The Dogs would not go too deep as they know the dangers of a grumpy Hippo Bull lurking in the shallows.

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African Wild Dog    –     Photo credit: Cameron Inggs

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The impala   –    Photo credit: Johan Smalman

Unfortunately, the Impala just didn’t have a choice but to keep swimming around trying to avoid the dogs who had now surrounded the dam. After completing a lap or two the Impala was getting tired and trying to seek refuge in some shallow water where the hippo raft was laying.  One large bull Hippo decided enough was enough of all the fuss around his prized territory, the Hippo then started to chase after the Impala. The poor Impala tried frantically to keep swimming away from the dogs and the Hippo but as fate would have it the Hippo caught up with a fair bit of ease.

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The hippo arrives    –     Photo credit: Johan Smalman

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It’s all over   –   Photo credit: Cameron Inggs

The Hippo grabbed hold of the Impala and started to drag it down under the water. After about a minute or so of struggling the Impala drowned. The Hippo then began to bite and throw the Impala carcass around while the dogs were going berserk watching from safety of the side of the dam. The Hippo, after around about 30 minutes or so had broken bits of the Impala off and began to eat the carcass. We continued to watch for a while but eventually we could no longer see much of the Impala and the dogs began to lose interest in the water and started focusing on the next target, a Waterbuck calf.

It was an incredible morning for me as a guide as well as the guests I had at the time – a sighting I’m sure we’ll never forget!