It’s unusual to see a hippo wandering around during the day … it’s even more unusual to see one crossing a busy street! In this amateur video a hippo ambles across the road on its way to greener grazing grounds, much to the surprise and terror of children playing nearby.

The clip was filmed in the small tourist town of St Lucia on South Africa’s eastern coastline, where the proximity to the world-famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park makes encounters with wild animals relatively common. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, the 332,000-hectare park is renowned for its biodiversity and natural beauty. Home to an estimated 800 hippos, it’s not all that surprising that the occasional one lumbers into town – although this doesn’t usually happen during the day!

Hippos typically emerge from the water to graze at night when temperatures are a bit cooler. They sometimes travel up to 10km (six miles) in search of food and can consume as much as 68kg (150lb) of grass in a single night. Residents in St Lucia are no strangers to the local wildlife, and there are signs scattered across the town warning visitors to beware of hippos. And for good reason too: hippos are known for their aggression and are widely regarded as one of the most dangerous mammals in Africa.

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