This playful young hippo won't stop annoying a crocodile — at least until a herd of elephants chases the hippo away.

You know that friend that can’t take a hint? That’s this hippo.

The energetic calf chased its newfound crocodile pal all around a watering hole in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

This is strange behavior, given that hippos usually stick to their own species when looking for playmates and are also occasionally eaten by crocodiles.

The crocodile in this video doesn’t seem aggressive though — just peeved. Perhaps this is because the mother hippo was nearby, watching her curious calf — and probably rolling her eyes.

The crocodile eventually abandons the water entirely to get some peace and quiet, but the hippo stays hot on his tail. The encounter only ends when a group of elephants arrives and chases the young hippo away.

“It was rather extraordinary to watch this hippo chasing this crocodile around and this croc not doing too much about it,” Margrit Harris, who captured the video for the Nikela wildlife organization, told National Geographic.

Harris said she wasn’t worried about either animal during the exchange.

“It’s recognizable to anyone that’s ever spent time with a dog, for example, as play behavior and it’s because that type of behavior is pretty consistent across mammals,” she said.

If the hippo really had wanted to scare the croc, it would have made noise and shown its teeth.

Though this reptile-mammal co-mingling is unusual, it’s not unheard of. Another video shows a different brave (or stupid) hippo actually licking a similarly unenthusiastic crocodile:

This kind of curiosity could actually go on to help the hippo later in life.

“It could be really beneficial to this hippo because if it was a female hippo, she might want to have a calf of her own and then she might recognize the crocodile as a threat,” Guyton said. “Having played with crocodiles when she was younger, she now has some idea of how they behave or how they react.”


Next, read about the elephant herd that recently trampled a poacher to death. Then, check out this insane video of a sea lion dragging a little girl into the water.

Annie Garau
Annie is a NYC-based writer. For tips, write to [email protected]
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