The king of land meets the king of the river! An angry hippo attacked three frightened lions after spotting them swimming across a river where the hippo was resting peacefully.

The king of land meets the king of the river! An angry hippo attacked three frightened lions after spotting them swimming across a river where the hippo was resting peacefully.

A furious hippo has attacked three terrified lions after the animal spotted the trio swimming across a river in Botswana.

Video shows the three lions attempting to cross the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana when they were attacked by the hippo which was protecting its territory.

Footage, shared by charity Great Plains Conservation, shows one of the lions being lifted out of the water by the hippo before it manages to get to the other side of the river and run away.

The other two lions were seen frantically swimming back to where they came from.

The three lions had entered the river – with their eyes locked on the hippo which was only a few yards away

But within seconds, the hippo swam at a rapid speed towards the lions. One lion is seen panicking before quickly swimming back to the shoreline, whilst the other two lions try and swim to the other side

But the hippo quickly catches up to them and targets one of the lions, which lets out a roar as it is struck by the hippo

The three lions had entered the river – with their eyes locked on the hippo which was only a few yards away.

But within seconds, the hippo swam at a rapid speed towards the lions. One lion is seen panicking before quickly swimming back to the shoreline, whilst the other two lions try and swim to the other side.

But the hippo quickly catches up to them and targets one of the lions, which lets out a roar as it is struck by the hippo.

The lion is seen being lifted into the air by the hippo, which tries to bite the animal.

The frantic lion is seen jolting in different directions in an attempt to avoid the hippo’s grasp and manages to run ashore and run away.

The frantic lion is seen jolting in different directions in an attempt to avoid the hippo’s grasp

The lion manages to run ashore and run away from the angry hippo

The hippo is seen standing guard by the shoreline after attacking the three lions

The Great Plains Conservation, which runs 15 camps in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe, said: ‘The territorial behemoth moved in at pace to see off the lions, and an incredible interaction between big cats and the mega mammal played out right under the noses of our lucky guests. Thankfully, all involved made it out unscathed.’

Hippos are the second-largest animals on earth, measuring up to 11 feet long, six feet tall and weighing up to 7,000lbs.

They are semi-aquatic animals who spend most of their time in water to keep cool in Africa.

The location of their noses and eyes allow them to stay submerged for hours at a time.

Video shows the three lions attempting to cross the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana when they were attacked by the hippo which was protecting its territory

The are mostly active at night, although the dominant male in any herd will violently protect his females – leading to major clashes.

The creature’s impressive jaw measures two feet across and can be opened to 150 degrees.

And the bite pressure of a hippo has been measured at an impressive 1,821lb – enough to split a small boat in half.

Despite its hefty frame the hippo can outrun a human on land with speeds of up to 19 miles per hour over short distances.

In water adult hippos propel themselves along at speeds of up to five miles per hour.

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