You’ve might think that lions are the kings of the jungle. Or you might think hippopotamuses are fat, oafish losers just waiting to be eaten. But at one videographer who captured a wild encounter on camera found out, hippos are more than a ferocious match for hungry lions.
The lioness must feast. She thinks she has her pick of the savanna’s fruits. After all, she’s queen of the jungle. What prey can stop her once she decides to gorge herself on its soft flesh and hot blood?
The grasslands seem empty. She longs not only to eat, but to hunt. The chase, the pounce, the feeling of her claws sinking into tense muscle: She craves nature’s dance for its own sake as much as she lusts for the prize.
Just as she’s beginning to give up hope, she sees it. It’s lying down, right there in the middle of the grasslands. Not even in the cool, muddy river where it could perhaps hide or defend itself. The fat, lazy hippopotamus is practically inviting her to end its pathetic life.
There’s nowhere for the hippo to hide, but nowhere for the lioness to hide either. The direct approach is her only option. So she plays it cool, approaching her prey quickly but calmly, with the easy, confident steps of oncoming Death itself.
What the lioness forgot, perhaps in her hunger, is that hippos have one of the most powerful bites on the planet – 1,825 psi – behind only alligators and crocodiles. They also can run at a steady 19 mph. The lioness may be screwed.
“Oh, f---! Oh, f---! I’m dead!” are the lioness’s last thought before the hippo wrestles her to the ground by its deadly grip on its head. In the ferocity of the moment, it’s unclear whether she will die from a crushed skull or a broken neck.
But at the last second, the hippo releases her. She is astonished. “I’m spare you,” the hippo says. “I merciful.” But as the lioness flees to safety, the hippo calls after her, “I HIPPO! AND I KING OF JUNGLE!”