oa South African Journal of Wildlife Research - 24-month delayed open access - Reports of carnivory by the common hippo - : short communication

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2410-7220
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8200



The first known observations of carnivory by hippos were recorded in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe in 1995. Three additional observations of carnivory by hippos have subsequently been reported from East Africa. Hippos, heretofore generally regarded as obligate herbivores and short-grass grazing specialists, may possess a much broader feeding niche than has been previously recognized. Thisnew evidence demonstrates a serious shortfall in our current understanding of the foraging ecology of hippos. It appears that existing scientific knowledge of hippo behaviour and ecology is far from comprehensive despite the widespread distribution, obtrusive and often adversarial character of hippo / human interactions.

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