What animal is a lion scared of? The question refers to a single animal species and I can name one without hesitation and conveniently there is a story about the hippopotamus scaring off thirsty lions at a watering hole.
It happened in Botswana in the Chobe National Park. A group of male lions stopped off at a watering hole. A hippopotamus was in the water at the time and the lions spotted the animal.
Hippopotamuses are territorial and this one took offence to the presence of the lions on what he considered to be his territory. They stared at each other. The hippo suddenly decided to charge and rushed out of the water.
The photographer, Jan Hrbacek said
“The lions came to drink at a small waterhole when the hippo was watching them. Suddenly the hippo rushed out from the water and chased the lions out. Hippos are extremely territorial, they don’t tolerate other animals in their territory. The lions were scared of the hippo. Hippos are powerful animals. They could kill or injure them.”
I think the point to make is that although sometimes lions attack and kill hippos, it is dangerous to do so. It would seem that the hippo and the lion are about equal in terms of danger to each other.
As a consequence, even though there were three male lions facing off with a single hippo charging out of a watering hole, the lions decided to take the more prudent course of action and retreat. It appears to be a decision based upon risk-taking and minimising it. Perhaps if they were hungry they might decided differently but this is an instance where the mighty lion was scared of an animal and that animal was a 1.5 ton hippopotamus.
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