Oh Big Mouth… a mother and young…

What would you expect from a hippo who has nothing else to do all day but rest ?? Yes… yawn…

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Actually she is telling everyone the news .. “I’ve a youngster… come to close and I’m going to bite you…” it is a warning sign….

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mother has to help her youngster keep its head above water ‘till it learns to swim…

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That little one is so small if she opens her mouth it could get in… these are not small animals and never get between it and the water or too close in a canoe… some have been buried for making that mistake…

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Hippopotomonstrosequippedaliophobia… What have we here ?

Is it a bird, is it a plane or is it an animal ? None of these, it is the fear of long words. Now could they not have chosen a shorter name for such a phobia??

I Google searched to find something interesting about the Hippopotamus… and this jumped out at me as I started to search.

The hippo is the third largest type of land mammal… Okay the elephant is the largest, what then is the second largest ? That’s right.. it is the Rhinoceros…

Elephant 4 – 7 tons, Rhino 2.5 tons and then the hippo 1.5 tons. But when it comes to speed the rhino is the fastest of the three at 55 k/h, the elephant 40 k/h and the Hippo 30 k/h… now all three are faster than a human at between 10 and 25 k/h depending on the distance being run… and now you know why we developed the rifle…

But just looking at my title has given me a fear of pronouncing words… I wonder if there is title phobia for that as well ? I know if I tried to pronounce that word I’d probably suffer from Katagelophobia pretty quickly… and as I scan through one long list of phobias I discover another word meaning the fear of long words… Sesquipedalophobia… here’s the list if you want to try and answer my question (CLICK HERE) Good luck… in the mean time a few photos of Hippos..

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Africa’s Big Five.. or are They?

Africa’s big five refers to supposedly the five biggest killers of mankind… well on this I don’t agree. Maybe in the days of the pioneers and those of the big hunters, but not today…

The first… Elephant…..

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Meeting up with one of these outside of a National Park is highly unlikely, and within the Parks if you are not stupid, your chances of not having your car turned over is up to you… be stupid and think of these gentle giants as pets … and you will quickly discover that they aren’t…  African elephants, especially older bulls and young males, can be aggressive, and death is normally by being trampled…. 6 ton is kind’a heavy…. In places where poaching is rife and/or the elephants’ habitats are threatened, elephants are more aggressive, and rightly so…

The second… Lion..

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Lions live throughout sub-Saharan Africa (except for forests and deserts) in protected areas. Lions can be extremely dangerous and the famous man-eating lions of Tsavo were not just a myth. A 2005 study showed that lion attacks on man were on the rise in Tanzania and Mozambique. Sick male lions are mostly responsible for the hundreds of human deaths that occur each year because of these attacks. So when visiting a park, stay in your car… these are not cats that you can cuddle…

Thirdly my favourite, the Buffalo… scared of nothing….

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They have reputedly killed more Big Game Hunters than any other specie… they are thought to kill nearly 200 people each year… standing around like herds of cattle, they can be hugely underestimated… a big bull will seem to be looking right through you… but give him the chance and he’s going to gore you if he feels the least threatened…. 700 kg of strong muscle will make an ugly mess of you when he’s finished tossing you around like a rag doll… Most Lion will not even contemplate taking them on, and their ferocity when protecting their young, has proven the demise of many lion…

Then fourthly the Leopard..

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This cat has had a bad wrap for many years… yes he has killed humans, but not in great numbers.. the chances are he will avoid you, but again don’t treat this cat as a domestic.. he is a ferocious killer and when cornered will not back down.. his bite is far worst than his bark, which is nothing more than a type of cough… So if you decide to go poaching at night and hear a slight cough, say your prayers, he’s seen you, has warned you, and now the silent killer is going to kill you….. luckily this seldom happens….

The fifth, the rhino

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You would far rather see the other end of this monster than this end…. but beware he can turn on a whistle, or a dime… and that huge body can go far faster than even Usian Bolt.. He might just point to the sky showing the direction he’s about to travel, after that horn has entered his rear orifice…. The black Rhino is far more aggressive than the white, and will attack rather than run, so find a tree and start to climb long before he decides to come and find you… he will detect you by sound and smell (actually half blind) and when he does he isn’t going to warn you…

But here is where the others come in…

The crocodile, the Nile crocodile..

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Crocodiles kill hundreds of people each year in Africa. It can be found in almost every major river throughout the continent as well as many lakes. Most fatalities occur while people are washing or collecting food near river banks and lake shores. Fisherman are also prone to attack as they slide their boats in and out of the water. Crocodiles attack by dragging their prey under water and drowning them. Some crocodiles will also then roll their bodies repeatedly to weaken their prey, and this happens more times than we would like to think… so be aware when walking around near possible infested water…

The Hippo (hippopotamus)

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The hippo is responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal. Male hippos actively defend their territories which run along the banks of rivers and lakes. Females have also been known to get extremely aggressive if they sense anyone coming in between them and their babies, who stay in the water while she feeds on the shore. Hippos can run at speeds of over 20 miles an hour and they have enormous jaws which host up to 20 inch canines. They can basically cut you in half… so beware these are not to be taken lightly… Yet not considered one of the big five…

And now for the biggest killer of all, yet not one that tourists come to Africa to film.. The Mosquito..

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The mosquito is responsible for killing more Africans than any other through the spread of malaria and other diseases. Malaria kills over a million Africans every year, most of these are children under the age of five. Malaria is only spread by the female Anopheles mosquito. They are most active around dawn and dusk. There are in fact around 3,500 species of mosquito flying around and their average life-span is about two weeks. So … you can’t shoot them … they’re too small, so take the necessary precautions or suffer the disease like I did…