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Hungry hippos bite an ELEPHANT carcass despite being herbivores in Botswana

Hungry hippos feed on an ELEPHANT carcass despite being herbivores with one of the drooling beasts you see crawling into the trunk in Botswana

  • Hippos have been seen feeding on an elephant’s carcass in Southern Africa’s Botswana
  • Despite being normally herbivores, these hippos were spotted trying to chew through the dead animal
  • Photographer Brice Petit explained that elephants’ stomachs contain 70 percent undigested vegetables
  • This sometimes leads to hippos waiting around a carcass – although they don’t normally try to eat meat

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Hippos have been caught on camera ignoring their herbivore instincts and hiding in an elephant’s carcass on the banks of a river.

Photographer Brice Petit, 42, was visiting Botswana’s Chobe River in October when he spotted the hippos nibbling on the dead animal. One of the creatures was seen chewing the elephant’s trunk.

The elephant is believed to have died of natural causes, and Brice, who also works as a lab technician, said: “When we arrived with our boat, vultures and marabou storks were already inspecting the carcass along with two large male lions trying to keep the food for themselves.

“But no one can stop a hippo, so imagine a whole group. Hippos are known to be herbivores, but an elephant’s stomach is made up of 70 percent undigested vegetables.

“So it is known that in this situation hippos can be found around the corner from an elephant carcass. But here they were so excited that they were salivating and trying to bite the carcass to open it.

“A young hippo started catching and releasing the elephant’s trunk before finally holding it in its mouth and chewing it.”

A swarm of hippos in Botswana was spotted in the carcass of an elephant partially lying in the Chobe River in October

A swarm of hippos in Botswana was spotted in the carcass of an elephant partially lying in the Chobe River in October

Photographer Brice Petit said elephants' stomachs contain 70 percent undigested vegetables, making it not uncommon for a group of hippos to wait around a body.

Photographer Brice Petit said elephants' stomachs contain 70 percent undigested vegetables, making it not uncommon for a group of hippos to wait around a body.

Photographer Brice Petit said elephants’ stomachs contain 70 percent undigested vegetables, making it not uncommon for a group of hippos to wait around a body.

In this case, however, the hippos seemed unwilling to wait for the body to rot so they could get to the vegetables, instead trying to eat their way into the stomach.

In this case, however, the hippos seemed unwilling to wait for the body to rot so they could get to the vegetables, instead trying to eat their way into the stomach.

In this case, however, the hippos seemed unwilling to wait for the body to rot so they could get to the vegetables, instead trying to eat their way into the stomach.

Despite the large herd of elephants in the background, the bloated hippo could be seen crouching around the dead body

Despite the large herd of elephants in the background, the bloated hippo could be seen crouching around the dead body

Despite the large herd of elephants in the background, the bloated hippo could be seen crouching around the dead body

The curious hippos inspected the elephant's body before trying to nibble on the carcass

The curious hippos inspected the elephant's body before trying to nibble on the carcass

The curious hippos inspected the elephant’s body before trying to nibble on the carcass

An elephant has even been seen to pick up the dead elephant's trunk in its mouth, drop it back into the water and bite it

An elephant has even been seen to pick up the dead elephant's trunk in its mouth, drop it back into the water and bite it

An elephant has even been seen to pick up the dead elephant’s trunk in its mouth, drop it back into the water and bite it

A second hippo joined the younger animal to watch the dead elephant's trunk as it floated in the water

A second hippo joined the younger animal to watch the dead elephant's trunk as it floated in the water

A second hippo joined the younger animal to watch the dead elephant’s trunk as it floated in the water

The older animal urged the little hippo to stay away and opened its mouth in an attempt to be intimidating

The older animal urged the little hippo to stay away and opened its mouth in an attempt to be intimidating

The older animal urged the little hippo to stay away and opened its mouth in an attempt to be intimidating

The larger hippo chewed on the elephant's trunk after inspecting it in the water

The larger hippo chewed on the elephant's trunk after inspecting it in the water

The larger hippo chewed on the elephant’s trunk after inspecting it in the water

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