Warning: contains some strong language.

Hippos are famously cantankerous creatures. And extremely territorial. Surprisingly fast and nimble, too. All of which makes them the most dangerous large land animal in the world, killing around 500 people a year.

In fact, a ticked off hippo will take on pretty much any opponent. Even a pickup truck, as 26-year-old South African Wikus Ceronie discovered last week.

Wikus was crossing the border between Mozambique and South Africa in his Ford Ranger when he happened upon a hippo stood at the edge of the road.

It seems the truck’s mere presence was enough to enrage the hippo which turned and charged at the truck, headbutting and biting the front, leaving it seriously messed up. On average, adult male hippos weigh 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms), so the impact was like being hit by a Toyota Camry.

Wikus told LatestSightings.com: “I was crossing the border from Kruger National Park when I noticed a hippo on the bridge. There were people walking around in the nearby vicinity so I automatically assumed this hippo was used to humans. I was quite fascinated by this so I took out my phone to start filming.

“Suddenly the hippo turned and just started charging… I braced myself as I realized he wasn’t going to stop. He hit the bakkie head on and then tried biting it. I guess after that he decided he had won because he just turned around and left.

“This was terrifying for me because I realized I had nowhere to go and no time to do it in. Beside me was a 50 meter (164 feet) drop so had he hit me on the side I have no doubt the car would have rolled down the embankment. Even though there was damage done to the bonnet of my vehicle and the door couldn’t open, I’m grateful there were no serious injuries at the end of the day.”

Let this be a lesson. You know, err, next time you come across a hippo stood in the road.

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Gallery: hippo charges Ford Ranger

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