Incredible Snapshots: Cheetahs Make a Swift Exit as an Angry Hippopotamus Defends Its Watering Hole

It’s a hippo… hop it! Cheetahs flee for their lives when furious hippopotamus decides they’re too close to its watering hole

This series of incredible snapshots captured in Kenya serves as a warning why you should never stray too close to a hippo’s home.

Wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein and members of his safari group caught the action in the Masai Mara National Reserve, in Narok County, when a family of cheetahs wandered too near a hippopotamus.

Paul and keen amateur photographers Charlie and Jackie Turner documented the scene when the big cats decided to take a short cut through a stream – and were promptly chased off.

‘Finding hippos out of the water is quite rare, finding them confronting cheetahs is virtually unheard of. But this was exactly what happened in the Masai Mara recently in the Olare Conservancy,’ said Exodus guide Paul, from Wimbledon.

Although hippos may not have the most fearsome appearance, they are in fact one of the most deadly animals in the world for humans.

They are easily frightened and extremely aggressive, especially if it has a baby nearby or you drift too near its home.

Stand-off: The hippopotamus and the family of cheetahs size each other up in a tense moment in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve

Uphill climb: The enormous hippo seems to be struggling to make it up the steep river bank in its furious pursuit of the fleeing cheetah

Moment of terror: The cheetah takes a second to glance over at the charging hippo, which has made it up the bank, before running away

Desperate flight: As the hippo builds momentum in its charge, the family of cheetahs scramble to get out of the giant animal’s way

Making a getaway: Just before the raging hippo reaches the cheetah, in the remarkable photographs, it uses a spurt of energy to escape

Sia

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