A lion that disturbed a hippopotamus’s nap was bitten on the head and violently shaken, leading to its death at the hands of the hippopotamus.

A lion that disturbed a hippopotamus's nap was bitten on the head and violently shaken, leading to its death at the hands of the hippopotamus.

A lion that disturbed a hippopotamus’s nap was bitten on the head and violently shaken, leading to its death at the hands of the hippopotamus.

In the African savannah, a rare scene occurred. A female lion went out alone to hunt and wandered aimlessly on the vast grassland.

The female lion goes out to hunt

Suddenly, it lowered its head and kept sniffing the scent on the ground, getting more and more excited as it went, as if it had found something good. The female lion quickened its pace and sure enough, it saw a huge, black thing not far ahead. The female lion looked left and right, full of curiosity, and as the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat.

The female lion saw that the unidentifiable object in the dry grass was unresponsive, so it approached it and habitually sniffed it with its nose before touching it with its mouth. As a result, the huge object suddenly shook a few times and quickly stood up. It turned out to be a hippopotamus lying with its back to the lion, sleeping in the dry grass.

A hippopotamus taking a nap under the sun.

The female lion was not stupid, knowing it had made a mistake, and quickly tried to run away. But this big, fat hippopotamus was a “nimble little fatty”. It quickly turned its head and changed direction, facing the female lion. The hippopotamus chased after the female lion, running with its sturdy hooves, kicking up dust. The hippopotamus was like a majestic warhorse galloping, biting the female lion’s head in one bite and then shaking its body wildly! The female lion suffered a tragic fate at the hands of the hippopotamus.

Lioness Attacks Huge Hippopotamus

Without exaggeration, it is estimated that the lioness was thrown into a concussion. This action scared the nearby zebras who were watching, with their mouths agape. The hippopotamus suddenly became conscious and was shocked by its own actions, quickly releasing the lioness. They both ran away in different directions.

An angry hippopotamus on land

Lion vs. Hippopotamus: Who is Stronger?

Both the hippopotamus and the lion are top predators on the African savannah. Lions are known as the “kings of the grasslands,” while hippopotamuses are one of the “Big Five” of the savannah. So who is stronger between the two kings? Let’s take a closer look from several aspects.

“The King of the Grasslands” Lion

Body Size The hippopotamus is a very large animal and one of the largest land animals. An adult hippopotamus can reach a length of about 4 meters, a shoulder height of about 1.6 meters, and weigh around 2.8 to 3 tons, truly a behemoth.

Huge body of an adult hippopotamus

In comparison, an adult male lion can only reach a length of about 2 meters, which is only half the length of a hippopotamus. The heaviest adult male lion weighs around 250 kilograms, which is only one-third of the weight of a hippopotamus. The difference in weight between a lion and a hippopotamus is like night and day.

In terms of body size, an adult hippopotamus can easily crush an adult male lion. For lionesses, the hippopotamus is even more capable of killing them, as adult male lions are usually slightly larger than adult lionesses in terms of body size.

A robust male lion.

The reason why hippos can become one of the “grassland five overlords” is due to their body size. For animals, body weight often represents combat effectiveness, and when facing animals larger than themselves, they tend to feel fear. With the body size of a hippo, it is estimated that it can defeat an opponent just by using its weight to strike.

What is the difference in bite force between the two?

When it comes to the combat effectiveness of wild beasts, one cannot fail to mention their bite force, which is an important guarantee for their survival. When it comes to bite force, many people may think that lions can definitely overpower hippos. Lions are excellent hunters, and the bite force of adult lions can reach up to 450 kilograms, which is already at the king’s level. However, the bite force of a hippo can rank in the top three in the animal kingdom, with a jaw strength that can reach an astonishing 825 kilograms, far surpassing that of a lion.

I don’t know if you have ever seen the scene of a hippo eating a large watermelon. Its blood-stained mouth can expand to about 180 degrees. It can swallow an eight or nine kilogram watermelon in one bite, turning it into watermelon juice. If it bites something, that could be a big problem.

The gaping mouth and sharp teeth of a hippopotamus

If the hippopotamus had been in a good mood and let go, that would have been lucky. But if it was angry, it would have likely become a target for its rage, and survival would not be very likely. What’s important is that a hippopotamus not only has strong biting force, but it also can lift its opponent up in the air while biting it and thrash it around, which can increase the impact of the attack due to the force of inertia.

The thick skin of a hippopotamus is like armor

While a lion’s body is covered in fur that can protect its skin and effectively resist external attacks, a hippopotamus is almost completely hairless. Is it easy to cut a hippopotamus’s skin, then? Although the surface of the hippopotamus’s body is hairless, its skin is very thick, reaching about 6 centimeters in thickness. This is due to a layer of skin that accumulates from keratin protein aging, which is extremely hard and solid, like the layer of skin on an elephant’s surface.

For a hippopotamus, thick skin can effectively resist the bites of other wild beasts, like an indestructible armor. Even if a lion uses its ultimate skill, crazy biting, a hippopotamus can still defend itself adequately, not sitting back and waiting to die without a chance to fight back.

A lion biting a hippopotamus

In the animal world, it’s common to see a lion jumping up to bite and gnaw on the back of a hippopotamus. But ultimately, it ends with “biting loneliness,” forcing the lion to give up biting the hippopotamus.

Powerful explosive force

As the saying goes, even a rabbit will bite when it’s in a hurry. If a lion really angers a hippopotamus, then it’s in for a rough time. A hippopotamus can “explode” the lion’s head. Don’t forget the scene at the beginning of the article. If a hippopotamus doesn’t let go and continues to bite the female lion’s head, it’s very likely that the female lion will be in big trouble.

A hippopotamus preparing to attack in anger

Land lions cannot handle a hippopotamus, and even the “crocodile bully” in the water can’t save the face of carnivorous animals. The most deadly attack of a crocodile is probably its “death roll,” which makes many animals stay away from it. But it doesn’t have much effect on a hippopotamus.

The large size and gaping mouth of a hippopotamus make a crocodile tremble with fear. Although it might be reluctant, it has to be a quiet “little crocodile” with its tail between its legs. Therefore, it’s common to see crocodiles and hippopotamuses coexisting harmoniously, even when the crocodile is hunting. If an adult hippopotamus mischievously interferes, the crocodile just tolerates it.

Crocodile Boss” in the Water

The hippopotamus is so dominant, does it have no natural enemies?

All things in nature follow the law of mutual generation and restriction. In the African savannah, the hippopotamus, which walks horizontally, also has natural enemies, and its natural enemy is the rhinoceros.

The rhinoceros is known as the “reckless young man” on the African savannah, with an impulsive and belligerent temperament. In short, it belongs to the kind of animal that says “if you don’t agree, let’s fight it out, and let fate decide.” It is very similar to the “African king” honey badger.

The “African King” Honey Badger

The reason why the rhinoceros can be the natural enemy of the hippopotamus is not because the rhinoceros is much stronger in combat. The combat power of the hippopotamus and the rhinoceros are not much different. It is because the hippopotamus cannot withstand the rhinoceros’s “reckless” force.

The rhinoceros is not only impulsive and irritable but also very stubborn, with a fierce determination to never give up. When the hippopotamus encounters the rhinoceros, it usually cannot fight for a long time and will retreat and hide in the water. The reason is that the hippopotamus cannot withstand the fierce attacks of the rhinoceros. The rhinoceros is like a wild yak throwing a “tantrum.”

The “Reckless Young Man” Rhinoceros

Although the hippopotamus has strong combat power, it is too rough when facing the “reckless” rhinoceros. The hippopotamus cannot stand it and can only retreat. It has to be said that just like humans, there are also animal species with more irritable temperaments due to different reasons, resulting in significant differences in their personalities.


The main reason why nature can develop in a healthy and balanced way is the mutual restriction of the food chain. Survival of the fittest. If any animal loses its natural enemy, the ecological environment will face very serious consequences, and humans will also face disasters.

Harmonious Coexistence in Nature

Therefore, protecting wildlife is the common duty and responsibility of humanity. Humans cannot live without animals, and animals cannot live without humans. They are all animals living together on this planet.

This article may not be comprehensive, and the author welcomes everyone to make additions. At the same time, the author sincerely thanks everyone for pointing out the shortcomings, which promotes the author’s continuous progress.

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