Don’t mess with this hungry hippo! Angry animal warns off ravenous lions

A HUNGRY hippo opens its jaws in a display of aggression to ward off a family of ravenous lions.

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The astonishing pictures were taken on the Chobe River in Botswana and show a lone hippo baring its teeth for the prize of a young elephant’s carcass.

Despite being outnumbered, the large animal stared down the lioness and her cubs in order to secure the chance to feast on the remains.

Grant Atkinson, 46, a guide and wildlife photographer from South Africa who witnessed the spectacle, said: “The lioness was feeding on a dead subadult elephant, that had died alongside the river of natural causes.

“Her cubs were feeding alongside.

“A solitary hippo approached, causing the cubs to leave the scene and hide, dragging off a bone with them.

“The lioness held her ground, but after some minutes of jaw gaping and silent pressure, the hippo finally started to move closer to the lioness.”

After a tense encounter, the majestic cat left the elephant carcass to the hippo and retreated into nearby bushes.

But the lioness made sure she was first in line for leftovers.

While the hungry animal feasted on the meat, the big cat returned to sit patiently behind the hippo and wait her turn.