I've always been amused by some of the collective nouns given to African mammals. Apart from the above, some that make me smile are: a Dazzle of Zebras, a Crash of Rhinocerous, an Obstinancy of Buffalos, and a Skulk of Jackals. But my favourite has to be an Implausibility of Wildebeest - who the heck thought of that?
But lets return to the humble Hippo.Well perhaps not so humble because these beasts are reputed to be the most dangerous mammal in Africa as measured by the number of humans killed. However that dubious honour is clearly not appropriate because man himself beats the hippo hands down - with the malaria-carrying mosquito certainly the most dangerous animal.
But let me get to the point here. I've recently returned from the north-eastern part of South Africa where I spent a few days giving camera-trapping advice to a lively group of trainee field guides. We left the cameras-traps out for a week and, fortunately, none got eaten by hyenas (a Clan of...) or smashed by elephant (you must know that one). We got some pretty cool photos, which I will show in another post, but what was interesting for me was how many hippo (him of the Raft) photos we got.
The first few simply recorded the comings and goings of an individual along a game trail not far from a small river:
However the next few were, for me, more interesting. The camera had been set up on a rocky outcrop where the students had hoped to record images of a leopard reportedly living in the vicinity: