A pair of golfers calmly watch as hippopotamus wades into nearby water

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The more memorable animal encounters at PGA Tour events involve characters like Sammy the Squirrel, an iguana in Puerto Rico, seagulls and the occasional alligator in Florida. The wildlife is obviously different in South Africa, where on Sunday in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club in Malelane, a hippopotamus made its way into a nearby hazard.

The golfers showed no panic and one of them even stood on a ledge above the water to get a better look.


Perhaps the game Hungry Hungry Hippos has desensitized the golfers, but hippopotamuses are not adorable or friendly creatures. As South African conservation ecologist Johan Eksteen tells the BBC,  “the majority of people from overseas are not aware of how dangerous these animals can be.”

More about the creatures from BBC Earth:

Hippos are remarkably agile and aggressive. They occasionally kill or scavenge impala, kudu and buffalo. Sometimes they even kill humans. On nightly sojourns out of the water, hippos trek miles to nibble on tasty vegetation – including crops, making humans and hippos uneasy neighbors.

In other words, drop your putter and move away from the hippo.

Only in South Africa… #DunhillChamps 🇿🇦

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