Hungry hippos bite on an ELEPHANT carcass despite being herbivores in Botswana

bourbiza19 January 2022Last Update : 4 months ago
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Hungry hippos bite on an ELEPHANT carcass despite being herbivores in Botswana


Hungry hippos feed on an ELEPHANT carcass despite being herbivores with one of the salivating beasts seen tucking in to the trunk in Botswana

  • Hippos have been spotted feeding on the  carcass of an elephant in Botswana in southern Africa
  • Despite normally being herbivores, these hippos were spotted trying to chomp through the dead animal
  • Photographer Brice Petit explained that elephant stomachs carry 70 per cent undigested vegetables
  • This sometimes leads to hippos waiting round a carcass – though they don’t normally try to eat meat

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Hippos have been caught on camera ignoring their herbivore instincts and tucking into the carcass of an elephant on the banks of a river.

Photographer Brice Petit, 42, was visiting the Chobe River in Botswana in October when he spotted the hippos nibbling on the dead animal. One of the creatures was seen chewing on the elephant’s trunk.  

It is believed the elephant died of natural causes, and Brice, who also works as a laboratory technician, said: ‘When we arrived with our boat on the spot, vultures and marabou stork were already inspecting the carcass together with two big male lions that were trying to keep the dinner for themselves.

‘But no-one can stop a hippopotamus so imagine a whole group of them. Hippos are known to be herbivores but the stomach of an elephant is made of 70 per cent undigested vegetables.

‘So, it’s known that in this situation hippos might be found round the corner of an elephant carcass. But here they were so excited that they were salivating and trying to bite the carcass to open it.

‘A young hippo started to catch and release the trunk of the elephant before it finally kept it in its mouth and chewed it.’

A bloat of hippos in Botswana was spotted tucking into the carcass of an elephant which lay partly in the Chobe River back in October

A bloat of hippos in Botswana was spotted tucking into the carcass of an elephant which lay partly in the Chobe River back in October

Photographer Brice Petit said that elephant stomachs carry 70 per cent undigested vegetables, making it not uncommon for a group of hippos to be seen waiting around a body

Photographer Brice Petit said that elephant stomachs carry 70 per cent undigested vegetables, making it not uncommon for a group of hippos to be seen waiting around a body

Peculiarly in this case though, the hippos seemed unwilling to wait for the body to rot away so they could get at the vegetables, and instead tried to eat their way to the stomach

Peculiarly in this case though, the hippos seemed unwilling to wait for the body to rot away so they could get at the vegetables, and instead tried to eat their way to the stomach 

Despite the large herd of elephants stood in the background, the bloat of hippos could be seen huddled around the dead body

Despite the large herd of elephants stood in the background, the bloat of hippos could be seen huddled around the dead body

The inquisitive hippos could be seen inspecting the body of the elephant before trying to nibble on the carcass

The inquisitive hippos could be seen inspecting the body of the elephant before trying to nibble on the carcass

One elephant was even spotted picking up the dead elephant's trunk in its mouth, dropping it back in the water, and then biting down on it

One elephant was even spotted picking up the dead elephant’s trunk in its mouth, dropping it back in the water, and then biting down on it

A second hippo joined the younger animal to take a look at the dead elephant's trunk as it floated in the water

A second hippo joined the younger animal to take a look at the dead elephant’s trunk as it floated in the water

Urging the small hippo to keep away, the older animal opened up its mouth in an attempt to be intimidating

Urging the small hippo to keep away, the older animal opened up its mouth in an attempt to be intimidating

The bigger hippo chomped down on the elephant's trunk after having inspected it in the water

The bigger hippo chomped down on the elephant’s trunk after having inspected it in the water



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