This is the heartbreaking moment a hippopotamus stood motionless and howled in grief after discovering the body of her dead baby before angrily defending the corpse from others.

Wildlife photographer Neal Cooper captured the scene in Kasane, Botswana, as the mother stood helpless above the body of the young calf.

Mr Cooper said he initially thought the hippo was stood above a large rock, but came to realise the grim reality as the animal's bawling roared around the park.

The mother's anguish soon turned to rage however as she was pictured warning off other animals by baring her teeth. Mr Cooper said: 'It was to be a trip not to be forgotten quickly.

'We spotted a hippopotamus standing motionless on the river bank with her head resting on something which looked like a rock and as we approached we spotted something lying on the ground in front of her. 'It turned out to be a very young dead hippo. I couldn't see any wounds on the side which was showing, so we pulled up the boat, kept a safe distance and watched as another very large hippo approached from the water.

'The mother hippo was showing all possible signs of aggression towards the intruder by spraying her faeces, showing her teeth and saliva dripping from her mouth.

'The other hippo, although a very large individual, dared not exit the river and face the mother so stayed in the water and eventually moved a safer distance away.

Responses to "Heartbreaking moment a hippo finds her lifeless baby and guards it, howling in sorrow"

  1. Unknown says:

    That just breaks my heart. It shows animals have real mother love too.

  2. Unknown says:

    All animals mourn and feel pain of loss the emotions of death is no different for them humans think they don't and call them stupid animals when were the dumb animals in the world.

  3. Unknown says:

    Yes, animals are living, breathing,reproducing, loving and, angry beings also. There is no difference.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a sad sight to see its heartbreaking

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