The hippo stole the crocodile's meal!
In Africa, crocodiles and hippos come into conflict frequently. It is going to happen simply because of the nature of these two animals. The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic and spends most of the day wallowing and soaking in shallow waterholes where the crocodiles like to hide and ambush their prey.
Hippos are much too large for crocodiles to consider a prey item. However, these two species still do not get along. In fact, it seems like hippos seem to take a lot of joy out of tormenting crocodiles.
This clip, taken near the place where the borders of Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique meet, shows some crocs snatching a cow off the riverbank. Instead of letting the reptiles enjoy their meal, the hippos chase and harass them. Eventually, one of the hippos steals the cow carcass away from the crocs.
We are not sure what prompted those hippos to get so riled up. It seems likely that the hippos were just angry the crocs got too close. Hippos have real issues with intruders into their personal space and they will let any living thing that violates it know about it. The puzzling aspect of this video is why a giant herbivore like a hippo would be so interested in a dead cow. Even the person who shot the video, Lean van Biljon, was puzzled by these events. This was detailed a bit more in the video's description.
"Multiple hippos then decided to join in. We did know what their real interest was in the cow, but they tried to take it away from the crocodiles," van Biljon said in the video's description. "In some instances, we thought they were just moving the cow away from the crocodiles. In the process, it looked like they were biting it! We couldn't say if they were trying to eat the cow or trying to 'save' it."
It should be noted that there have been reports of hippos eating meat on occasion. Most of the time, it appears when they do eat meat, they are scavenging. It is hard to say if that is what is happening in this video. In any case, it makes for an incredible sight to see while exploring the wilds of Africa!