Jesus, who needs enemies when you got family like that wildebeest. I haven’t seen someone stand there and do nothing in the face of tragedy since Joel Osteen turned his back on displaced Houston victims. Things gotta be super awkward at the dinner table that night…
Mom Beest: How was your day, Billy?
Billy Beest: Oh I just got my leg torn off while my entire family looked on idly. Other than that, pretty low key.
Dad Beest: Adversity is good for you. Pass the baby elephant please.
The video was shot at Kruger National Park in South Africa and before the hippo came to the rescue, the wildebeest valiantly struggled to break from from the crocodile’s death grip for nearly eight minutes.
So can we chalk this up as a species doing a good deed to save the life of another? Not so fast, says Douglas McCauley, a National Geographic explorer and professor at the University of California Santa Barbara.
McCauley offered two reasons for why the hippo, who is a herbivore, saved the wildebeest. Via National Geographic:
- The crocodile had encroached too closely on the hippos’ territory.
- (More likely) The wildebeest’s splashing prompted the hippos to stake their territory.
“My best guess is that the hippos are acting very aggressive toward anything that tries to enter the water. They’ll come charging in and try to drive you away,” he explained.
I’d prefer to believe that the wildebeest is the hippos drug dealer and the death of the wildebeest clogs up the pipeline to the hippos’ African Kush. Science is overrated anyway.
P.S. About that ‘feel good video’ headline: the wildebeest will likely soon die due to its broken leg. Or it could live a prosperous life. Who’s to say?
[h/t National Geographic]