How To Survive A Hippo Attack


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Hippos are known to be one of the deadliest animals in Africa, responsible for more human fatalities than any other large animal.

Despite their seemingly docile nature, they are highly territorial and can be extremely aggressive when provoked.

In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to survive a hippo attack, including tips and tricks from experts and survivors.

Understanding the Hippo

Before we dive into the survival tactics, it’s important to understand the nature of the hippo.

Hippos are herbivores and are known to be territorial animals.

They are most aggressive when they feel threatened or when their territory is invaded.

Hippos are also known to be very fast, with a top speed of around 30 km/h on land and 8 km/h in water.

They are also excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for up to five minutes.

Prevention is Key

The best way to survive a hippo attack is to avoid one altogether.

Here are some tips to help you prevent an attack:

  • Stay away from hippo habitats, especially during mating season (which is from February to August).
  • If you are near a river or lake, keep a safe distance from the water’s edge.
  • Avoid making loud noises or sudden movements that could startle a hippo.
  • Do not approach a hippo, even if it appears to be calm.
  • If you are on a boat, keep a safe distance from hippos in the water.

Survival Tactics

If you find yourself in a situation where a hippo is charging at you, here are some survival tactics that could save your life:

  • Run for your life: Hippos are fast, but they can’t run for long distances. Run in a zigzag pattern to make it harder for the hippo to catch you.
  • Find shelter: If you can’t outrun the hippo, find shelter behind a tree, rock, or vehicle. This will help slow down the attack and give you time to escape.
  • Climb a tree: If you are near a tree, climb it as high as you can. Hippos can’t climb trees, so this is a safe option.
  • Play dead: If the hippo has already attacked you and you can’t escape, play dead. Hippos are known to lose interest in their prey once they stop moving.
  • Fight back: If you have no other option, fight back with whatever you have. Aim for the eyes, nose, or ears, as these are sensitive areas.

Expert Advice

We reached out to experts and survivors to get their advice on how to survive a hippo attack.

Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Hippos attack not to eat people, but to get them the hell away from them. I don’t think hippos are particularly aggressive, but I think when under pressure, they attack.” – Dr. David Lewison, marine biologist.
  • “Once attacked, there is nothing you can do. Fight for dear life and watch for any chance to escape.” – Dr. Paula Kahumbu, wildlife conservationist.
  • “You can’t outrun a hippo in a straight line, so find a tree, rock, or vehicle to get between you and the hippo.” – Stone Age Man, survival expert.


Surviving a hippo attack is not easy, but it’s possible if you know what to do.

Prevention is key, so make sure to stay away from hippo habitats and avoid any actions that could provoke them.

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, remember to run for your life, find shelter, climb a tree, play dead, or fight back.

And always remember, hippos are not to be underestimated.