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A Look At Africa's Most Dangerous Animals


David Attenborough narrates a look at hippopotamuses as they protect their families, face their enemies, and contend with a drought.

Thursday 8pm NATURE – HIPPOS: AFRICA’S RIVER GIANTS – Documentary

Nature 3710

Considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, hippos kill about 500 people every year, yet we discover an unexpected side of these aquatic mammals that can’t even swim, though they rely heavily on water. Go beneath the surface and meet these river giants as we uncover the life and true nature of the hippo. See how these highly sensitive and intelligent creatures protect their families and face their enemies.


  • The dense structure of a hippo’s bones and the weight of its body make hippos unable to swim.
  • Hippos can’t breathe underwater; they must hold their breath to walk along the bottom of the delta. In order to catch a breath, the hippo will push off the bottom and rise to the surface to breathe.
  • Mating between hippos takes place within the shallows, where their heavy bodies are better supported. Mating can last up to 30 minutes.
  • Hippos have sensitive hearing, poor eyesight and a nervous nature which all lead to their skittish and aggressive behavior.
  • Pregnant hippos carry their calves for eight months. While pregnant, the female hippo will separate herself from the pod and find a quiet, shallow pool of water to give birth.
  • When the Okavango Delta dries up and food is scarce, hippos regurgitate grass from their stomachs and chew it again as a source of sustenance. This leads scientists to believe they may have a ruminating digestive system like cows.