Thursday night out of the cam view was heard a shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...and there appeared a big gray nose, soon revealing a hippo as she slowly made her way along the edge of the waterhole. She paused, and we saw three more hippos come up behind her, two young ones, and another adult with heads all bent at the waters edges as if smelling it or settling in for a drink.
The leader, Ms. Hippo, waded in to the water hole and the remaining three immediately followed suit, all ending up in an endless blob of gray with a few noses, ears and eyes in the mix. Every once in a while one of the hippos let out a grunting/bellowing sound while they lounged in the water. They all stood around cooling themselves and then wandered out and off they went on their quest for sweet grass to fill their bellies.
A hippo can emit sounds while his head is halfway in and out of the water, sending the grunts through the air as well as through the water, with responding sounds from other hippos coming from both as well.
Hippos are not the most pleasant animal to be around, and have a nasty temper if people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are quite aggressive, with their bite big enough to kill a human with little effort. Their teeth are actually tusks, made out of ivory just like the elephants; however the hippo’s ivory is even more valued than the elephants, as hippo ivory doesn’t yellow with age. It’s even believed that George Washington’s false teeth were not made out of wood, but in fact, hippo ivory.
No wonder we don’t see the hippo’s display their pearly whites too often, they’re afraid someone is going to snatch them out! http://www.africam.com/wildlife/hipposcome2310