Conservation & environment

Tough Love

13 March 2014

When in the wild you just have to make the most out of whatever you are given, but quite often whatever you are given is not enough. I suppose this is the premise of nature, survival of the fittest per se. But we have a little friend here at Sand Rivers that is defying such odds. This little fella first made his appearance when a pod of hippos moved in, in front of the lodge. Nothing out of the ordinary was noticed until we had a closer look...we saw this little torn up face, no ears and a scar through the one eye. What happened to him we are unsure of but after viewing his adventurous and fearless personality we can only deduce that he wondered too far from mum and got into a scuff with a crocodile and had his ears and one eye removed.

This most certainly has not changed his view on life. He is a persistent playful little guy who knows what he likes and is willing to do dangerous things to get what he wants.

His favourite game seems to be that of many children, 'Marco Polo', a game that requires a bit of energy, for those of you that have watched hippos during the day for any length of time, you will understand that getting a hippo to move, when it is very much relaxed would most probably be a difficult task. With the persistence of our little friend thats no hard feat at all. He nibbles, nudges, splashes and so on until he finds himself a playmate. He only really has one friend, that is a good 6 months older than he a bit of Marco Polo with this adolescent is good practice for him in later years as once a tag has been made it normally ends in a bit of a 'fisty cuff'.

But from time to time his friend is not interested in playing and when there are no other youngsters in his age bracket he has no problem going up a class and starts irritating an adult hippo, not a good idea, but when a child wants to play there are no good or bad ideas. I think the picture below describes exactly how this normally ends up.

But at the end of the day, Mum is always a good port of call for some protection. We are sure with his tenacious attitude to anything in his area and fearsome looks that one day this little guy will rule a good proportion of the river but for now he remains a cute little feisty hippo that is always putting on a show.

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