Hippo bulls are usually extremely territorial which leads to aggression. This aggression is not only relevant towards other hippo bulls but also to other animals, especially predators as we noticed one afternoon at Gondwana Game Reserve.
One afternoon near the end of a game drive we followed a male lion to a near by watering hole. He lay down five meters from the waters edge. Suddenly, two hippo heads appeared on the opposite edge of the dam. They spotted the lion and quickly approached. The hippo bull let out a warning call however the lion ignored him. About 2 minutes later, both hippos came charging out of the water, sending the lion running for safety.
Fortunately for lion , this was only a charge to intimidate. A charge in a lunging fashion above the water is usually a mock charge. IN a full on charge attach the hippo moves below the waters surface until the very last minute until they attack. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of this deadly attack. Hippos can easily reach speeds of 30-35km per hour. A wise decision by the lion to have fleed so quickly.