Death of a Hippo

In this sequence, first with natural light and then with illumination from the lights of our vehicles—by this time, we had been joined by another group—the hippo is still alive. Occasionally, she managed to stagger to her feet, but the hyenas soon dragged her down again.

We checked the site next morning. The hippo was dead, but had not decomposed sufficiently to attract many scavengers: there was a solitary kestrel. Later in the day, the feeding frenzy was in full force. Hyenas, vultures and marabou storks were making quick work of the carcass. Our guides also thought that the local lions—a pair of young adult males—had passed by and eaten their fill. This explained the twitchiness of the hyenas who kept checking to make sure that the lions weren’t coming back.


The following day, there was nothing but the ribs and the skull. Our guides said that most of those would eventually be eaten.

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  1. […] several photos that I had incorrectly tagged, so were overlooked then when I was creating the post, Death of a Hippo. These show what was left of the hippo about 2 days after she died, and the scavengers still […]

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