National Geographic : 1971 Sep
CAUTIOUS BATHERS, we keep close watch for crocs and hippos as we take our nightly dip. Joan rinses by the light of a gas lantern (left), while I search the darkness for visitors attracted by her splashing. Fortunately for us, crocodile eyes flash a red warning in lamplight. Grunting and snorting impatiently, hippos often ring this handy bathing spot, located on their path to grazing lands. En route to night pastures, one sniffs my perch soon after we leave (below, left). Farther along the trail, another protests our flash-camera ambush with a display of formidable tusks (below). The lower fighting canines stay knife sharp from constant wear against upper teeth. They serve little purpose in grazing, when hippos pluck grass with lips nearly two feet wide. Although hunger may drive them miles inland, the hippos spend half their lives in water, which offers safety and support for the animals' huge bulk. With few natural enemies, they may live nearly half a century-portly giants supporting thousands of small neighbors. 365 EKTACHROMESU0N.G.S.