Bite club! Moment two hippos lock jaws during epic hour-long battle in South African river
- Safari tour guide Emily Whiting, 35, captured the footage of the brutal fight
- She was leading a tour group across the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve
- Whiting said it was unusual to see such encounters while on safari
This is the moment a pair of hippos clash violently in front of stunned tourists enjoying a safari in South Africa.
The massive herbivores locked jaws in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve which is near the border with Mozambique.
Field guide and photographer Emily Whiting, 35, filmed the hippos during their ferocious hour-long encounter.
The two massive hippos clashed in a river on the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve in South Africa while a group of tourists had stopped on a break
Male hippos are known to violently protect their territories and the females under their control
If a rival hippo takes control of the herd, it is likely the new hippo will murder any calves so their mothers will resume breeding
She said: ‘We were having a coffee break and the fight continued for the whole hour we were there and carried on after we left.
‘I have never seen them behave so aggressively before so it was a special thing to see – luckily they were both okay in the end!
‘Normally the hippos are very sleepy, unlike their reputation for aggression.
‘So to see the other side of them for the first time was eye-opening – it was incredibly action-packed!
‘Plus seeing the raw power of these huge animals really brought home how dangerous they can be.’
Hippos are the second-largest animals on earth, measuring up to 11 feet long, six feet tall and weighing up to 7,000lbs.
They are semi-aquatic animals who spend most of their time in water to keep cool in Africa.
The location of their noses and eyes allow them to stay submerged for hours at a time.
The are mostly active at night, although the dominant male in any herd will violently protect his females – leading to major clashes.
The creature’s impressive jaw measures two feet across and can be opened to 150 degrees.
The remarkable footage was captured by tour guide Emily Whiting, 35, pictured
And the bite pressure of a hippo has been measured at an impressive 1,821lb – enough to split a small boat in half.
Despite its hefty frame the hippo can outrun a human on land with speeds of up to 19 miles per hour over short distances.
In water adult hippos propel themselves along at speeds of up to five miles per hour.
Known to be aggressive, the animals are most hostile when protecting their young.
They rarely kill each other but have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in Africa.
Last year, a baby hippo was killed by an adult male who held it down under the water until it drowned.
Video footage captured in Zambia showed the 14-foot bull holding the baby under the water for two minutes until it stopped struggling.
A video shows a male hippo swinging a baby around violently as the bloodied calf thrashes between its teeth before being drowned
In a shocking attack, the four-thousand-pound bull sinks his teeth into the infant before holding it down beneath the water’s surface
The young hippopotamus was one week old and weighed a mere 100 pounds.
The brutal attack is thought to be the result of a battle for dominance between two male hippos, in which the murderous bull had likely defeated and chased off the infant’s father.
In order to mate with as many females as possible, bulls may kill calves fathered by other males.
With the absent child no longer suckling, the mother will once again be ready to mate.