Hippopotamus and Humans Relationship
There are remains of Hippos that date more than 160,000 years ago. They show markings on the bones of the Hippos that humans consumed them for meat so very long ago. Imagine how many people could survive on the meat from a full grown Hippo!
In many areas humans are angered by Hippos entering their vegetation. The Hippos eat heavily at night and can leave these areas virtually destroyed. They have great memories too so they will return to such areas again and again. Such destruction by the Hippo can result a huge loss financially for the growers of such products.
Many areas of Africa are extremely poor, so the people here continue to depend on the Hippo as a source of food. They use their bodies for providing large amounts of meat for their families. The meat is said to be very tasty and there are other benefits as well. The ivory of the teeth can be sold on the black market or it can be traded for other items of value.
The hide of a Hippo is often used by the villagers to make weapons and to make various forms of shelter. The hide doesn’t have much hair to offer warmth but it does have a thickness to it that is extremely hard to penetrate.
Many humans fear the Hippo due to its aggressiveness and the fact that they are so large. Even with some weapons on hand, it can take a great deal of strength and skill to penetrate the thick skin of a Hippo. As a result, many villagers are more than willing to lead hunters into Hippo territory. Not only do they make money as a guide but they know that there are fewer Hippos out there for them to fear.
It is reported that more people in Africa are killed annually by Hippos than any other animal. While the exact numbers aren’t known, there are plenty of reports all the time about villagers that go in search of food or other expeditions but fail to return. If a villager sees a specific Hippo kill someone then they often seek revenge on it.
Boating accidents are very common due to the fact that Hippos live in deep bodies of water. They are sleeping for most of the day so it is possible they don’t hear the boat coming. Depending on the type of boat though the injuries can be to the Hippo, to the people, or to both of them. A Hippo may panic too when such an accident occurs. Part of that panic mode is for the aggressive behaviors to kick in. Then they may kill the humans out of fear.
In most areas of Africa, the natives are very mobile at night. During the heat of the day they want to conserve their energy. Ironically, that is what the Hippo does and why he is out feeding at night. Yet it the darkness it can be impossible to know that there is a Hippo close by. If it is mother with a youngster she may charge to protect it without thinking twice.
Since most of the areas around the villages aren’t lit up then it isn’t something that can be easily seen. As the boundaries of the humans in these villages continue to move closer and closer to the homes of the Hippos, it is a tragedy just waiting to erupt.
Not all humans are out to get the Hippos though. In fact, many of them ban as one to offer education and to find answers. They are involved in serious conservation efforts to promote a healthy balance between humans and Hippos.