Gutsy impala evades wild dogs, crocodiles, and angry hippos

July 30, 2021 • 1:30 pm

It’s been a frustrating day: I spent an hour writing a critique of a Scientific American op-ed on “sex isn’t bimodal” only to discover the piece was several years old (and I probably wrote about it before). Into the trash can it went.  The good news, though, is that, through meticulous photographs of duck bills on Botany Pond, and matching them with others, I’ve discovered that Honey is still here although her four babies flew away a while back. She’s more timorous than she used to be, and I worry that she’s getting to be a Senior Duck. I hope she returns next year, as they’re going to revamp and dredge Botany Pond this fall.

So here’s a scary but ultimately heartening animal video, and I have to admit that I saw this video on HuffPost, which gives a bit of background. I tell you, this is one lucky antelope! First it gets away from a pack of wild dogs by swimming across a lake, evading a hungry crocodile and then charging hippos. But it survives!

HuffPo notes:

The footage was filmed at Thornybush Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger, South Africa.

National Geographic reported that the impala’s speed and ability to jump meant it was not as easy a target as it might appear, not even for the wild dogs in this video, which are known for their ruthless ability to take down prey.

“They have a reputation for being Africa’s most effective hunters, with, they say, up to 80% of their hunts ending in a kill,” wildlife photographer Nick Dyer told the BBC in 2019. “Personally, I think that’s a bit high, but it’s definitely well above that of a lion or a cheetah or a leopard.”

But wild dogs don’t swim, which the impala used to its advantage.

“For the impala to escape the wild dogs and then not got taken down by the crocodiles in there and get past the hippos was quite amazing,” ranger Daniel Hitchings told Kruger Sightings. “Sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it isn’t. It was this impala’s day.”

7 thoughts on “Gutsy impala evades wild dogs, crocodiles, and angry hippos

    1. Put yourself in their paws. A large proportion of the lakes and rivers of your area which are deep enough to paddle – let alone swim – have crocs in them. Where are you going to practice?
      I wonder if “wild dogs” brought up for at least two generations without the crocodile hazard and then exposed to a dog-oid which does swim (“trainer”), then start to swim themselves. You might not need the “trainer”.

  1. “Sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it isn’t.”

    Or, as wiser man than myself once said:

  2. They have a reputation for being Africa’s most effective hunters

    It remains true though that every dog is running for it’s supper, while the rabbit/ impala/ “supper” is running for it’s life. At which point, the odds of getting caught by a croc may get considerably less unattractive.

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