Together with the crocodile, the Hippo completes the “Dangerous seven” which can be hunted in Africa. Hunting a hippo is a challenge. They are big animals with big aggression. Hippos are dangerous whether they are in the water or out of it. They kill a good amount of people especially in the rural areas of Africa. Bull hippos are famous for their aggression and there are countless reports of Hippos that have attacked boats and people who get too close. A single bite from these immense animals and their enlarged tusks will do serious harm. Rural villagers are also often trampled by Hippo as they get in-between the animal and the water, Hippo will flee to the water when they feel threatened on land and will run straight over anything that may get in their way.
Hippos are found in Southern and Central Africa. These animals inhabit large bodies of water including lakes, rivers and even streams. Hippopotamus requires year-round water as they spend the majority of the daytime in the water to keep cool. Hippo can be hunted in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. These animals and crocodiles tend to occur in the same areas in Africa and are often both hunted while on safari.
There are two traditional methods of hunting Hippo, The most common approach to hunting a good bull is by silently walking along the water’s edge looking for a mature Hippo bull, once a suitable Bull is spotted, a very precise shot needs to be taken to anchor and kill the animal instantly. The Hippo will first sink to the bottom but after a patient wait will soon float to the surface. The animals can then be retrieved. Another way of hunting a Hippopotamus is by trying to intercept a good bull while he is out of the water, either feeding or traveling back to the water. This is extremely dangerous as Majority of hippo will flee straight towards the water when they feel threatened and you don’t want to be in the way. At night the hippo come out of the water to feed. Hunting these big animals at night is an adventure on its own and provides a heart-racing hunt.
Identifying a Bull Hippo is not easy, especially while there are forty to fifty animals bobbing around in the water and coming up in a different place each time. A Bull Hippo is bigger than the female and usually has more scarring on their hides from dominance fights with other bulls. The head of a Bull hippo is bigger than that of the female as well as the humps on their top jaw. The Lower incisors of a Bull hippo are longer than those of a female and tend to stick into the upper jaw, this cause two big humps on the front of the upper jaw. By identifying these humps, you can be certain it is a bull, the challenge comes in when he goes under water again and comes ups elsewhere in the pod.
A Hippo trophy is measured according to the length of their lower incisor teeth. However seeing big bulls teeth- before shooting him cannot be guaranteed. By sitting and watching the animals for a long time, you might be lucky to see the bull yawn and get a good look at his teeth, or even better is to see two bulls fighting so that the size of their teeth can be compared to one another. However majority of Bull Hippo are hunted without knowing what their teeth are going to be like. A good indication of the trophy size is the height of the humps on the top jaw, in relation to the animals head. In essence the higher these humps, the longer the lower incisors are.
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