When a bull hippo leaves the water to feed at night, his wanderings sometimes take him far from his own home range and often into an area of the river, dominated by another bull.
Waking up suddenly on an unfamiliar sandbank, surrounded by a strange place
and looking across the water to see an angry beach master approaching, would not rank high among anyone’s wishes for a good start to the morning.
This can often lead to violent confrontation with the dominant bull in that stretch of the river, or as in this case, can reveal another side of hippo behaviour and show that not all confrontations end in bloodshed.
The dominant bull confronted the interloper with teeth bared and a wide mouth wide shattering the early morning stillness with prehistoric roaring. The visiting bull immediately displayed submission, waving his tail without defecating and chomping his great jaws as he kept up a continuous grumbling moaning and bellowing while waving his lowered head from side to side. He exhibited complete submission when he presented his exposed neck and flanks to the aggressor; his faith in the other bull’s acceptance of his submission was quite remarkable to see.