One of the scariest moments in my life

This is me while realizing — in 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 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.

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