Graphic Content: Baby Hippo Killed By Its Pod __EXCLUSIVE__
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Hippos coexist alongside a variety of large predators in their habitats. Nile crocodiles, lions, and spotted hyenas are known to prey on young hippos. Beyond these, adult hippos are not usually preyed upon by other animals due to their aggression and size. Cases where large lion prides have successfully preyed on adult hippos have been reported, but it is generally rare. Lions occasionally prey on adults at Gorongosa National Park and calves are sometimes taken at Virunga. Crocodiles are frequent targets of hippo aggression, probably because they often inhabit the same riparian habitats; crocodiles may be either aggressively displaced or killed by hippos. In turn, very large Nile crocodiles have been observed preying occasionally on calves, "half-grown" hippos, and possibly also adult female hippos. Groups of crocodiles have also been observed finishing off still-living male hippos that were previously injured in mating battles with other males.
The hippo is considered to be extremely aggressive and has frequently been reported charging and attacking boats. Small boats can easily be capsized by hippos and passengers can be injured or killed by the animals, or drown in the water. In one 2014 case in Niger, a boat was capsized by a hippo and 13 people were killed. Hippos will often raid farm crops if the opportunity arises, and humans may come into conflict with them on these occasions. These encounters can be fatal to either humans or hippos.
If the baby is born underwater, the mother needs to push it to the surface to breathe. Newborn hippos are only able to hold their breath for about 40 seconds at a time. The mother stays in the water with her newborn for several days without eating, and she waits until her baby is strong enough before they dare leave the water at night to graze. Mothers nurse their babies, even underwater, for about eight months.
The nursery staff is sharing expertise with others on the Fiona care team. Dan, who helps take care of Fiona and her parents, is learning the art of bottle feeding a baby hippo. He, and others on the hippo care staff, will continue to give Fiona bottles even after she is reunited with her parents. #TeamFiona