A lion stranded on a rock in a South African river was attacked by a massive hippo, prompting the big cat to frantically try to swim to safety. (Watch the video below.)
Veteran guide Steyn Jacobsohn’s video of the encounter in Kruger National Park quickly went viral when it was posted this week on YouTube.
“Guests always ask us what’s the rarest thing you’ve ever seen, and this is at the top, a very unique sight indeed,” Jacobsohn told the wildlife platform Latest Sightings.
The clip begins with the lion sprawled on a small rock as many hippos approach. A particularly large one emerged from the depths and repeatedly snapped at the lion’s head.
The lion jumped from the rock and made a swim for it. But not without drama.
As he neared the shore, a hippo burst through the surface just behind him in a possible failed attack, but the lion kept churning toward land.
A lone lion against even one grown hippo is a bad bet, especially in the water. This beleaguered big cat ― likely a young nomad yet to establish his own territory, Jacobsohn said ― learned the hard way that you take your chances wandering into a river of hippos.