Definitely, until now, this was scariest moment in my life. In my professional life I have been dealing with many dangers — conflicts, police beating, ocean storms, epic motorbike crashes, “face-to-face” meetings with hippos, etc — but, definitely, this was the scariest moment ever. While I was attempting to photograph it, this 4+ meter-long Nile crocodile didn’t appreciate my art and, suddenly (it was fast!), attacked me. Sorry for the out-of-focus blurred photo…
Behind the scenes
One of the scariest moments in my life. This is me while realizing — at the exact moment when this photograph was shot (by Seble) — that a hippo was under our boat. In such moments there is nothing you can do apart from staying still and silent. We were at its mercy and — knowing how hippos can be testy and brutal when it comes to defending their territory and their young — we could only hope for the best.
Though hippos occasionally spar with crocodiles, a growing number of skirmishes are with humans. Hippos have trampled or gored people who strayed too near, dragged them into lakes, tipped over their boats, and bitten off their heads. In facts, many Africans regard hippos as the continent’s most dangerous animal. Although accurate numbers are hard to come by, lore has it that hippos kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, and rhinos combined
Liberamente Angela is a short film that I dedicated to a dear friend of mine, the writer Angela Altieri McDonald. The images of the video were made mainly in Brazil. Angela’s interview was recorded in Italy | watch the movie