Pygmy Hippo Attacks Zookeeper


They look cute. Their name is cute. Their teeth--not so cute. 

Czech Pygmy Hippo Attacks Female Zookeeper At Dvur Kralove Zoo

"The female keeper, who was experienced, was being treated in the intensive care unit at a hospital in the nearby city of Hradec Kralove.

Hospital spokesman Zdenek Tusl said the woman had lost a lot of blood due to right-leg injuries and doctors were battling to save her leg.

Pygmy hippos weigh up to 275 kilograms (600 pounds)."

10 comments:

  1. Once ran across a description of these animals (I think it was in that old-school Herbert Zim Golden Guide "Zoo Animals" that said, I quote, "may become unruly." That's certainly one way to put it. I've often wondered about the specifics of that, and recall concluding that since a pygmy hippo is essentially a wild pig on steroids, they would be pretty tough hombres given the right provocation.

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  2. I tend to think of anything called "pygmy" as harmless, but of course a pygmy hippo is bigger than a giant human. Heavier and stronger, anyway.

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  3. Pygmy killer whales are said to be much more aggressive than actual killer whales, too.

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  4. Maybe they're upset at being called pygmies.

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    1. Haha maybe XD But midget would probably piss them even more...

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  5. While I'd take my chances with a pygmy hippo sooner than a common hippo, it's not that shocking to think of these animals being aggressive--on land, they're more vulnerable to attack (they're less aquatic than their big cousins) and I would imagine have adapted to deal quite effectively with any predators that might threaten them or their young--leopards and perhaps chimps spring to mind.

    As to the pygmy killer whales...while that's the first I've heard of that species being notably aggressive, the only absolutely documented accounts of orcas attacking people that I've been able to find involved captive animals, whereas smaller species of dolphins (leading the way, the familiar bottlenose) have been known to attack and kill, and in some cases, evidently attempt to rape, humans. A naturalist friend of mine remarks that, on the whole, the big superpredators are dangerous by virtue of simply being enormous and having king-sized appetites, but often the smaller and less obvious species are more aggressive: this seems borne out in the testimonies of those animal men who regard the leopard as a much more dangerous subject for training than the lion, for instance.

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    1. I can testify about the leopard, indirectly. Zookeeper friend of mine told me leopard cubs are quite aggressive and start biting sooner than lion cubs.
      Some big game hunters said if a leopard was the size of a lion, it would be ten times as dangerous. Scary thought; the remains of lion-sized, leopard-like cats have been found in Africa. If they were indeed larger versions of the leopard, they must have been incredibly badass...

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    2. My friend worked with big cats and other large carnivores in his youth, and lost a grapefruit-sized chunk of flesh from his right buttock to a young leopard which had just hit puberty. (It was this that convinced him to get out of large felines--the cat could have pierced his skull with a little more confidence and skill.)

      A lion, despite its greater raw power, can be tricked into thinking a human is in charge, if a trainer/keeper is able to take advantage of certain social cues and manipulate the cat accordingly. Leopards, being solitary except when living with their mothers, are probably a little less easy to fathom for us, given that we work best with social animals (horses and dogs)--and in addition, they're heavy primate-eaters (cf. The Red Hourglass) and make meals of tougher creatures than us in the wild.

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    3. Leopards are a lot like house cats, really. Even the gentlest house cat will sometimes bite or scratch without warning. If house cats were the size of leopards I'm sure they would eat people regularly...

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  6. Another factor (besides size) that seems to be relevant in mammal aggression is mobility: the slower and clumsier you are, the meaner you have to be. American badgers, skunks, ratels, and wolverines are, in differing degrees, examples of this (all being slower than certain competing canrivores). The hippos fit too.

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