The late great crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was a fearless man, taking on some of the toughest beasts in the world, but there was one animal even he refused to mess with.
Turns out that Steve wanted absolutely no quarrel with hippopotamuses.
Rare footage has been unearthed of Steve as he canoed across the Luangura river in Zambia. It’s in that moment he comes across a herd of hippos.
Check out Steve’s admission here:
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Taken in 2001, Irwin is observing from a safe distance as two male hippos battle for dominance over the heard. It’s at that point the dominate male turns his attentions to the Irwin.
Clearly worried he’s about to bit off more than he can chew, he turns to his camera crew to say:
Hey, I don’t want anything to do with this, guys!
For a man who wasn’t afraid to tussle with crocodiles and alligators, it’s quite surprising to see Irwin scared for his safety.
However the narrator, his wife, does point out that hippos are very territorial and when herded together they become extremely agitated and aggressive, particularly the dominant male hippo, or the bull.
While it’s perfectly logical, knowing what we now know, to be afraid of hippos, another animal Steve apparently couldn’t stand to be around was parrots.
In an interview with the Scientific American he revealed that:
The only animals I’m not comfortable with are parrots, but I’m learning as I go. I’m getting better and better at ’em. I really am.
For some reason parrots have to bite me. That’s their job. I don’t know why that is. They’ve nearly torn my nose off. I’ve had some really bad parrot bites.
Tragically Steve Irwin lost his life in 2006 when a stingray stung him in the chest while filming for an underwater documentary, Ocean’s Deadliest.