A hippo with numerous scars on its back and flanks was photographed on a riverbank in the Kruger National Park (KNP) recently.
From a distance it appeared to be covered with grass or weeds, but from close up the photographer realised that they were actually wounds on its back.
According to Dr Peter Buss, veterinary senior manager at veterinary wildlife services in the KNP, the marks on its back and flanks are battle scars probably sustained in multiple territorial disputes. “The hippo’s condition is as expected for this time of year,” he said.
Dr Sam Ferreira, large mammal ecologist of the KNP agreed. “This looks like a relatively old animal, probably a bull that has had a few fights and survived.
“The animal is actually in average condition and the wounds are healing well.”