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Hippo Rampage Facts

A hippo has attacked a tourist party.  Javier and Patricia Franco struggle to keep their canoe upright.  A quick-thinking guide paddles their children to shore.  US Marine Justin Trinidad and his girlfriend Kaylynn Hankey are in shock.

A hippo has attacked a tourist party. Javier and Patricia Franco struggle to keep their canoe upright. A quick-thinking guide paddles their children to shore. US Marine Justin Trinidad and his girlfriend Kaylynn Hankey are in shock. (View larger version)

Photograph by Getty Images

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  • Hippos can hear well above and below the water.

  • Hippos’ jaws have been known to cut crocodiles in half during an attack.

  • If you find yourself close to a hippo, the best advice is to stay calm and quiet and try to blend in to the background.

  • Contrary to popular belief, hippos do not sweat blood. They secrete a red oily liquid which acts as a moisturizer and sunblock.

  • Despite their fearsome reputation, hippos are actually herbivores.

  • Fully-grown hippos can weigh between 5,000 and 8,000 lbs.

  • Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in lakes or rivers in order to keep cool in the hot climate of Africa.

  • Hippo calves can suckle underwater by closing their ears and nostrils.

  • In many countries, hippo populations are in decline. They once had a broader distribution, but now live in eastern, central and southern sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Hippos’ closest living relatives are whales and porpoises.

  • There is a colony of hippos in Colombia, introduced there by the drug dealer Pablo Escobar.

  • There are about 7,000 hippos in Zimbabwe.

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