Hippo Net

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The African hippo is an enormous mammal of raw, charging power. And with a bite force of 1800 pounds, capturing this dangerous beast is the ultimate challenge. What’s it take for wildlife experts to catch and relocate a 3,000-pound bull hippo?

Mastering a way to sedate and capture a hippo might offer a solution to reintroducing these animals to parts of Africa where they’ve been wiped out. Hippos once had a broader distribution and, overall, hippo numbers appear to be decreasing or becoming more fragmented in much of the continent (particular West African nations). Hippos live in groups – called schools – and in the wild, these social units tend to be smaller due to less available habitat and an increase of human populations. According to the National Wildlife Federation, hippo poaching is on the rise for their prized ivory teeth and trendy meat. The hippo species may soon be one of Africa’s endangered animals, as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species currently categorizes the hippopotamus as “vulnerable.”

The only way for scientists to get close to a wild hippo is by using a powerful sedative. The standard practice for relocating large terrestrial mammals is by shooting it with a tranquilizer and following the animal until the drug kicks in. But dart a hippo, and there’s the danger he’ll retreat to water and possibly drown.

So wildlife experts – like biologist Brady Barr – are on a mission to devise a way to safely capture a hippo with a net on land. They’ll track the wild animal, launch a net from a helicopter, and sedate it as soon as it’s tangled in the net.

But it won’t be easy… Hippos spend as much as 16 hours a day submerged in water. They can hold their breath for up to five minutes and only leave the river at certain times of the time (such as to graze on grasses). So the wildlife team will have to track a hippo and wait for the perfect moment when the hippo is out in the open and away from water. Then they’ll make their move…

Find out what happens when Brady Barr and his team attempt to capture a 3,000-pound bull hippo in Malawi. Watch Dangerous Encounters: To Catch a Hippo TONIGHT at 9 PM et/pt on Nat Geo Wild!

VIDEO PREVIEW: Did you know that biologist Brady Barr has been terrified of hippos for much of his life? Check out this video clip of Brady’s first hippo encounter!


  1. dolly12345
    February 7, 2011, 12:05 pm

    Hi This is dolly make. I from Seo services.

    I think Hippo is biggest version of mouse.

  2. jslinsd
    February 8, 2011, 2:28 pm

    This guy has no clue, he is just a loud mouth who thinks he knows everything, he cannot handle any situation well, he could not even hold on to the wart hogs legs and screamed like a little school girl every time the wart hog moved, this just goes to show you guys are desperate for characters on your reality shows, every time it came time for him to interact with an animal he turned the job over to the EXPERT that is with him, like using the net gun, he could not fire it because his hand hurt from firing the gun. When the warthog was tied up every one else jumped in and handled that wart hog and Brady holds the rope 20 feet away and screams I GOT THE ROPE I GOT THE ROPE, get this guy out of here, also tell him to lose a little weight and get in shape and then maybe he can run with the experts and do the stuff that he keeps sluffing off to the rest of the cast. Tell him to turn his hat back the right way instead of backwards on his head, how redneck can he get. You guys need to find someone who can interact with the animals and quit pushing the danger parts off to the experts, isn’t he supposed to be an expert, T.V. lost a true hero and animal expert when Steve Irwin, Bindys father was killed by that sting ray doing what he loved. Now that guy the Crocodile Hunter was good T.V. this Brady guy is a school girl on the school yard, wants to jump in the game of dodge ball but always runs away when the going gets rough……. come on you guys get some good t.v. going, like My Life is a Zoo, that is a good show, kind of crazy things they do on the show but they will learn as time goes on. Get rid of this Brady character……

  3. Victor Zetterkvist
    August 9, 2013, 5:43 am

    I totally agree with jslinsd. Brady Barr appears amateurish and unprofessional in his show all the time. You almost get the feeling that The show “dangerous encounters” not tries to preserve wildlife but rather a matter of how to hunt animals down and disturb them as much as possible. Brady barr is hunting Hippos with helicopter and gets excited every time he has a chance of catching something. Is the things he does even legal? It is really terrible to see this treatment of wildlife and it is even more disturbing that it is presented by National Geographic who is expected to be serious